Agonia Samp, the loan to Ferrero that embarrasses all of Serie A

X Factoring. The endless days of the sampdorian crisis lead to an outcome that the Sampdoria people never wanted: the return with great pomp of Massimo Ferrero as guarantor of the course towards the end of the season.

Yes, precisely the former president unseated by judicial troubles, and under whose leadership the Sampdoria club was engulfed by a complex interweaving of corporate boxes which is still hard to figure out. His popularity among the Dorian people is well below zero and the mere prospect of seeing him in the stands of the Ferraris turns into a matter of public order. Yet these days Ferrero seems to be the only one able to guarantee that Sampdoria can complete the championshipwithout risking stranded along the way and leaving Serie A crippled. A risk that had already been taken in 2015 with Parma and, albeit for different reasons, with Salernitana during last season. In the days when the Emilian club was struggling towards the end of the championship, a slogan was launched that no one dared to question: “No more Parma cases”. And instead the 2022-23 season forces us to deal with a Sampdoria case. Just to remind us that the Italian football system hasn’t yet been able to give itself the mechanisms capable of controlling and stemming the emergence of certain risks.

We will soon know if Ferrero’s maneuver will be implemented. But for the moment he deserves to dwell on the scheme that should guarantee Sampdoria the liquidity necessary to conclude the season and on the subjects that should make it possible. The information circulating these days speaks of a 35 million euro loan financed by two subjects. One is the Californian Oaktree fund, already known in Italy for having supported the Chinese ownership of Inter. The other is Bank System, leading Italian institute in the pawn credit sector as well as a strong presence in Italian football finance thanks to factoring. Anyone who enjoys reading the financial statements of Italian football clubs notices the use of Banca Sistema as a collector of credits, especially from television rights. The institute advances to the clubs what they will have to collect in the following years in exchange for a premium. Therefore, it guarantees liquidity by buying future receipts. It should be remembered that Banca Sistema was also a sponsor of Genoa in the last period of the Preziosi era.

The financial transaction would provide that in exchange for those 35 million euros Sampdoria pledges 99% of the shares. Which therefore would change ownership in the event that the loan is not repaid. And in that circumstance it would create a rather embarrassing situation. Because control of a professional football club would end up in the hands of entities that finance the debt of other football clubs. Shall we try and get our hands on this potential mess before it becomes real? Or do we just say “never again an X case”?

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Agonia Samp, the loan to Ferrero that embarrasses all of Serie A

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