Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 10 No. 22
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Ex-Chelsea Striker Vialli Says Crowdfunding To Be 'The Norm' In 10 Years

Former Chelsea striker Gianluca Vialli is one of the founders of Tifosy, an equity crowdfunding organization -- or "fan-funding," as Vialli calls it -- that allows people to "invest in sports clubs," according to Jason Burt of the London TELEGRAPH. He said, "There are so many ex-footballers in the football industry but I think it’s important to find something meaningful, innovative, that can make a difference. I felt this was an opportunity to get involved in something that in 10 years' time will be the norm." Football and finance "do not always make a good mix." But Tifosy already has a number of projects "to be proud of" and to press its case. One of the key aims is to call for more "transparency" from those who own football clubs "while also trying to bridge the disconnect that has undoubtedly developed between them and the fans." It is a "hot topic." So "what, so far, has Tifosy done?"

  • In the summer of '14, League One side Portsmouth supporters raised £270,000 to "pay for pitches to give the club’s academy a permanent base."
  • In Parma, Italy, €170,000 was raised to create the "Crociato" Museum to "house the club’s trophies and memorabilia after it went bust." 
  • Also in Italy, Serie A and Serie B "launched an appeal to help construct a football pitch and clubhouse for refugees on the island of Lampedusa." 
  • In England, League Two club Stevenage raised £600,000 in just six weeks to build a new North Stand.
Vialli "is an interesting character to head up Tifosy," which he established with Fausto Zanetton, a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The 53-year-old Italian won Serie A titles with Sampdoria and Juventus -- with whom he also won the Champions League -- before playing for and managing Chelsea in the pre-Roman Abramovich era (TELEGRAPH, 10/11).