When there is less and less until the kick-off of Winter World Championship in Qatarit Qatari Sheikh Faleh Khalid Al Thani – supported by the official endorsement by the Qatari embassy in Rome – confirms his concrete will to buy Sampdoria. Announces its intention to close the deal quickly, once the last formalities with the reference banks have been completed. Among these lenders in the front line is the Rothschild bank of Geneva which is preparing to provide him with a line of credit also making available the 40 million euros needed to reach the sale of the Genoese club. A move that will reassure the creditors of the two Ferrero companies placed in composition with creditors, who are waiting for the 40 million to settle their credits from the sale of Sampdoria.
Technically once the money has flowed into the escrow account (managed by the escrow agent Francesco Console, appointed by the sheikh as needed) a very rapid confirmatory due diligence will be carried out on the Sampdoria accounts for the last quarter. Finished which the Sampdoria sale contract will be signed in front of an Italian notary. The 40 million will be simultaneously made available to the Gianluca trust Vidal who will allocate them to the Ferrero creditors. By the end of November, the sale of Sampdoria (acquired through the parent company Sportspettacolo srl) to Al Thani should be completed in all its terms, according to the conditions indicated by the Geneva lawyer Gregoire Mangeat who looks after the interests of the sheikh. Gianluca Vialli will be appointed as president of the club, who with Ivano Bonetti is already working on strengthening the team on the January transfer market.
Sampdoria had been included in the trust almost three years agoto guarantee the debts of two of the companies of the Ferrero family (Eleven Finance and Farvem which had requested the agreements) i.e. Massimo Ferrero, his daughter Vanessa and his nephew Giorgio, all three under trial before the court of Paola in Calabria, accused of numerous corporate and tax crimes linked to four Calabrian companies declared failed in 2013.
The declaration signed by Sheikh Faleh Khalid Al Thani (of which we are able to anticipate the essential contents) will be disseminated through the Qatari embassy in Rome, which had followed the complex negotiation for the acquisition of Sampdoria, reporting the developments to the Al family Thani, in power in the very rich Persian Gulf country. The official seal of the Qatari diplomatic representation in Rome gives the negotiation an official status and also certifies its relevance for the ruling dynasty.
Unsurprisingly, Qatar has made a huge investment by organizing the first world championship in the winter season. It is natural that the small, very rich Middle Eastern kingdom intends to fully exploit the media and commercial repercussions in terms of business and image. Europe is the natural outlet for anyone who wants to gain credit as a protagonist in the arena of the most popular (and richest) game in the world.
Why exactly Sampdoria? There are many European clubs in better shape than the club that Paolo Mantovani led to the Scudetto 31 years ago. It was Francesco Di Silvio, a Bolognese film producer by adoption who lives in Paris, who piqued the Sheikh’s interest in Sampdoria. In spite of the fact that today Sampdoria is floundering in bad waters in the standings (just 6 points collected in 15 league matches) and is led by an emergency board of directors appointed after the arrest, on 6 December 2021, of Massimo, Vanessa and Giorgio Ferrero, and the consequent inhibition to carry out actions of a legal nature that had affected them. This resulted in the de facto commissioning of Sampdoria, forced to manage itself not only in the absence of an owner but above all of adequate financial resources.
Sheikh Al Thani declared himself “amused” by the stories in the press, mainly Genoese (national information has so far been almost completely uninterested in the story) stubbornly hostile to the hypothesis of his arrival in Genoa at the helm of Sampdoria. A bittersweet clarification that wants to wipe out all the malicious inferences that have flourished about him. Nevertheless only an enormously wealthy character would have pledged to pay 40 million extra budget to save Sampdoria. “With me everything will change”, concludes the sheikh.