Akosuo Puni, wife of popular Ghanaian midfielder and former Chelsea star, Michael Essien has bought the Italian Lega Pro League Club, Calcio Como FC. The record-breaking move makes Essien’s wife the first Ghanaian to buy a European football club.
The footballer’s wife purchased the over 100 years old Italian third division club at an auction price of €237, 000, excluding the club’s brand and sports centre. This was after Como’s leadership declared their bankruptcy some months ago, placing the club on auction in the city of Como, Italy.
According to the bankruptcy trustees, over thirty buyers indicated interest but Essien’s wife placed the highest bid and grabbed the offer, with her purchasing price being €10,000 above the starting price.
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Part of a press statement from the club reads: “We are pleased to announce to the city of Como that Akosua Puni, Mrs. Essien, is the new owner Fc Como Srl”. The curator Francesco Di Michele, explained in the press release that the sale will be completed by the end of the month.
Wife of the former Real Madrid player visited the club last month and was shown the Sinigaglia Stadium and the Sports Center in Orsenigo, where the team trains.
Mrs Akosua Puni Essien is a British citizen of Ghanaian origin. 41-year-old Akosu, was Michael Essien’s publicist until 2013 when they tied the knot. The marriage has produced two children – Michelle and Michael Jnr.
Mrs Essien is currently the head of Michael Essien Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization set up by the footballer to give back to the needy in Ghana.
Meanwhile, Essien has recently joined Indonesian side Persib Bandung on a a one-year deal at the start of the new league season with an option for an additional one year.
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Calcio Como Fc is an Italian football club founded in year 1970 and based in the city of Como, Italy. Como were in Serie A in 2002–03, but three consecutive relegations saw the club in an unfortunate Serie C2 at the end of the 2004–05 season after losing a playoff to Novara Calcio. Worse still, the club was cancelled from Italian professional football in the same season because of bankruptcy.
However, the FIGC regulation came to their rescue as a new entity was allowed to admit into the 2005-06 Serie D, the top level of non-professional football in Italy, where they spent three seasons before finally managing to win promotion back to Serie C2 in the 2007–08 season.
New Name and New Focus
An official club statement, following Calcio Como’s purchase by Michael Essien’s wife revealed that the club will henceforth be known as Football Club Como (FC Como Srl).
The statement also revealed that with a new team handling the club, focus will henceforth be on youth development and the growth of a fresh team. It also assured that the club will soon be raised from the quagmire of relegation, and brought back to the prestigious position of Serie B level.
“We want to thank our curator Di Michele for the great job done. The commitments and promises are to grow first team and focus on youth development. We will create the conditions to bring the Como in Serie B as soon as possible and enhance our talents,” part of the statement reads.
Calcio Como FC which was refound in 2005, currently sit seventh with 44 points in Group A of the Pro League standings, with a little chance to qualify for the playoffs, having been relegated from Serie B last season. Her current coach is Fabio Gallo.
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