Italian soccer club Bologna Football Club 1909 has found a new majority owner.
New York criminal attorney Joe Tacopina of Tacopina Seigel & Turano PC and Canadian businessman Joey Saputo announced Wednesday, Oct. 15, they had agreed to purchase the Serie B club from a group led by president and second-largest shareholder Albano Guaraldi.
"We are humbled and honored to be the owners of this storied club, as it has been a dream realized today. We have been overwhelmed with support from the fans and the city of Bologna, and we will work tirelessly to restore the pride in BFC," Tacopina said in a statement Wednesday.
According to the release, the transaction, which was announced for undisclosed terms, already has been approved by the board of Bologna FC. The club plays in Serie B, the second tier of Italian soccer.
Tacopina, who has worked on a number of big-name criminal trials including Alex Rodriguez's performance-enhancing drug suit with Major League Baseball, has assumed the role of chairman and president. It was unclear what roll Saputo, whose family started Canadian dairy giant Saputo Inc., will play at the club. He also owns Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact, where he serves as president.
The deal marks the end of a 13-month auction process for Bologna FC, which was acquired in December 2010 by Italian banker Giovanni Consorte and coffee businessman Massimo Zanetti. The investors, who acquired the club from Sergio Porcedda, later allowed Guaraldi to buy into the club after Zanetti, then the president, and CEO Luca Baraldi resigned because of irreconcilable differences after only 28 days.