If you follow European soccer, then Gino Pozzo’s name might sound familiar to you. The Italian businessman is the owner of two major soccer teams. They are Udinese Calcio in Italy and Watford FC in England. He was also the owner of Granada F.C. in Spain as well before selling that team.
All three teams that Gino Pozzo owned and used to own have some things in common. They were all struggling clubs. The teams were in dire financial straits and had been left in the lower divisions of their country’s soccer leagues. All of these teams were also turned around by Pozzo’s brilliance, dedication, and investment.
Gino Pozzo’s story begins in Udinese, Italy. He grew up in this town and naturally became a passionate supporter of the local soccer team called Udinese Calcio. His family also had connections to the team’s ownership group.
When trouble struck Udinese Calcio, Gino and his family stepped in to rescue the team. They bought out the team and helped it ride out a financial crisis. Gino also helped orchestrate a return of Udinese to Italy’s top tier of soccer.
The impact of Gino Pozzo on Udinese’s success cannot be underestimated. In only a few short years, he brought the club from financial peril and the lower division back into Italy’s top flight. He even managed to get the club to compete in the prestigious UEFA champions league competition. This is an elite competition that teams must qualify by winning or finishing in the top four spots of their respective leagues. Udinese has also managed to stay in the Italian Serie A since his family took over the club.
Udinese Calcio is just one of Gino Pozzo’s turnaround success stories. He managed to turn around another club called Granada FC in Spain. This club was languishing in debt and dropped all the way to the third division. In only a few short years, Pozzo managed to take this club all the way back to Spain’s Primera or top flight. A once debt-ridden club in the third division was now competing against some of the world’s best teams such as F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Gino Pozzo eventually sold Granada FC to a sports group for over 37 million euros. He did this because he wanted to focus more on his next project. His next project and investment would be Watford FC in England. This was a club that was also experiencing financial difficulties and had seen far better days.
Pozzo’s magic touch would be felt at Watford. The club was just shy of moving up to the premier league. After his acquisition of the team, Watford FC was immediately promoted up and has stayed up ever since. The team is now set to compete in its fifth straight season in England’s highest level of soccer. This is after many years of playing in England’s second division and even third division of soccer.
Gino Pozzo’s tactics are novel and have even led to leagues changing rules. As an owner of soccer teams in different countries, Gino was able to move players from one team to another. He would move players between his teams for maximum impact to both teams. This was one of the main reasons why teams he took over quickly found themselves playing in the highest level of soccer once again.
Another reason why Mr. Pozzo has been able to turn around teams from financial collapse into major competitors in soccer is his scouts. He employs and has a close relationship with some of the world’s best scouts in soccer. They have spotted, signed, and developed world-class players such as Alexis Sanchez of Chile and Kwadwo Asamoah of Ghana.