US development-stage company Cala Corporation (PINK:CCAA) has taken control of Calcio Lecco 1912 SpA, the entity behind the eponymous Italian football club.
Cala did not say how much it had paid to acquire 79% of the club’s outstanding shares.
As its name indicates, Calcio Lecco was established in 1912 and used to rank among the major Italian clubs. However, ownership and management in the past two decades have been in the hands of amateur operators and Calcio Lecco has slipped into the fourth division of the Italian football league. Cala aims to restore the former glory of the club, bringing it back into the ranks of Serie A, Italy’s Premier League.
The US company is convinced this can be achieved with the right management and Calcio Lecco can win its promotion into the elite division. Being among the top 20 gives an Italian football club the right to share into TV royalty income amounting to some USD1bn (EUR806m).
Cala also pointed out that there was huge football demand on a global scale and TV royalties continue to go up every year. By way of an example, the company cited the English Premier League, where royalties for the coming year have surged to GBP3.3bn from GBP1.2bn.
Cala said that its long-term plans included the construction of a world-class stadium. The facility would be next to shopping malls, hotels, hospitals, a college, a premium office building, a convention centre and unlimited parking space.