Commentaries

Now raising intellectual capital

Own goal

For titans of new money, owning a sports team can be an appealing addition to a portfolio. So it was not surprising several years back to see American hedge fund and private equity executives buying baseball and basketball teams and Russian oligarchs acquiring English soccer teams. But in a global downturn, there aren’t many in a strong enough position to step up as the next nouveau riche in the world of professional sports.

For recession-proof new money, there is always organized crime

People working on behalf of the Camorra mafia clan based outside Naples tried unsuccessfully to acquire a controlling stake in the publicly traded Roman soccer club Lazio, say Italian police, which has arrested four suspects in connection with the attempt.

“There was a real attempt by organized crime to take over a listed company,” Guido Gentile, a lawyer who represents both the club and its president, Claudio Lotito, told Bloomberg News.

The police, Bloomberg says, are seeking three others including Giorgio Chinaglia, a former star striker for Lazio and one of the celebrated imports of the New York Cosmos in the 1970s.

  •