Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Impact President Joey Saputo in Group Seeking to Buy Italian Club Bologna FC

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Impact President Joey Saputo in Group Seeking to Buy Italian Club Bologna FC

Article excerpt

Saputo in group to buy Italy's Bologna FC

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MONTREAL - The Montreal Impact may soon have a European connection: Bologna FC.

Impact president Joey Saputo confirmed Thursday that he is part of a group of investors whose offer to buy the 105-year-old Italian club was accepted by the team's board of directors.

Saputo said in a statement that a letter of intent was signed and they hope to finalize the agreement on Oct.15.

"I would like to thank all the people involved in the transaction, especially the loyal supporters of Bologna FC for their encouragement throughout the process," Saputo said.

The investment group is led by New York lawyer Joe Tacopina, who resigned as vice-chairman of AS Roma to pursue Bologna.

The Impact have a connection with Bologna in striker Marco Di Vaio, who left the Italian club to sign as the Impact's first designated player in 2012.

The 38-year-old Di Vaio is set to retire at the end of the Major League Soccer season and is expected to take some form of non-playing job with his former club, although he said nothing was settled on that front.

"I hope so," Di Vaio said after practice at Saputo Stadium. "We're waiting for it to be confirmed on Oct. 15.

"I hope everything goes well. After, we'll see if there's a possibility to work again with Joey and with Bologna."

The club often called the Rossoblu for their red and blue striped shirts has won seven Italian league titles, but none since 1964. After a weak 2013-14 campaign in Serie A, the top league in Italy, the team was relegated to Serie B.

Di Vaio said seeing his former club struggle hurt him.

"Yeah, a lot, because I fought with my teammates to keep the team in first division," he said. "It's too bad they were relegated, but now there is a chance to be something.

"It's important for the future of the club and the city. …

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