Como, not just Fabregas: it is the richest team in Italy. What is behind the silent successes of the Hartono brothers

Now it must be understood whether the arrival of Cesc Fabregas on Lake Como is a whim of two millionaires – Robert and Michael Hartono – that the whims can be taken, and how, or instead it is the beginning of a new story that will project the club over time in the upper districts of Italian football. There is little to say about Fabregas: he was a champion- for years one of the best midfielders in the world – who is experiencing his own career ending struggling (in the last year he has played a handful of games in the reserve team of Monaco) and today that he is 35 years old he can say he is starting a new lifebecause the contract he signed is two-year and because – he said it straight away – wants to bring Como back to Serie A (that A has not seen it for twenty years, after the golden seasons in the 1980s when in two different periods he remained in the most prestigious league seven seasons in a decade).

The same joke has been circulating in football circles for some time, which is not: if the Hats want, they buy the whole Serie A. Right? Likely, let’s put it this way. The economic availability, in fact, is not lacking. The Hartono family is in the top 100 – classification Forbes of the richest family empires on the planet. Let’s explain better: with 23.2 billion dollars (under the entry Robert, but the Indonesian name is Budi) and 22.3 billion dollars (this is Michael, whose name is Bambang) the two Hartono – Indonesian, main branch of tobacco trade – respectively occupy the position number 64 and 69 of the ranking. To say: Berlusconi (Monza) and Zhang (Inter) are over the 300th, to find Friedkin (Rome) you have to cross the first 700. Yet: no one knows them, no one has interviewed them. They have taken the Como for three abundant years, it was April 2019. Since then the club has risen from Serie D to B, but without trumpets and fanfare, without massive investments, without media bass drum. With a low profile which is the existential figure of these two eighty-year-old gentlemen who in recent years they are delegating power, finances and responsibilities to their children (there are 7 in all) is that they bought the Como with a galaxy company of the Djarum empire – as it is called – and that is Sent Entertainment Ltda UK-based media and entertainment company, managed by Michael Gandler, who in the past was on the board of Inter Milan during the Thohir parenthesis. Careful management, renovation of the stadium, the desire to make the Como “product” precious also and not only with the arrival of the Spaniard Fabregas (who in fact announced that he was also ready to enter the company with a share).

In short, these Hartono: lots of roast and no smokeeven if it seems funny to say two of that they made money with cigarettes, the famous “Kretek”, those flavored with cloves that are widespread throughout South East Asia and are expanding the market also in Europe. For now, Como has been handed over to two trusted men, initially to Michael Gandler of whom we have spoken – also creator of the docu-film about the club which has the title “The American”, that is him – and for a year former English player Dennis Wise – already Chelsea flag in the 90s – CEO of the Como club who was entrusted with the technical part: it was he who convinced Fabregas to choose Como. With him work little-known names in the world of football, but only because it is about professionals who do not seek the lights of the spotlights, rather if they can avoid them: this is the dg Carlo Alberto said Charlie Ludi and the scouting leader Cristian Bruccoleri. Even because of football, the two Hartono; they know little or nothing: their favorite sport is badminton.

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Como, not just Fabregas: it is the richest team in Italy. What is behind the silent successes of the Hartono brothers

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