Black friday

All of the football clubs in the 777 Partners portfolio are up for sale. But the full scale of the colossal debt burden at Genoa will be a concern for potential buyers, and where does this leave Everton?

By Philippe Auclair and Paul Brown

Genoa Cricket & Football Club was always presented as the star pupil in 777 Partners' unruly class. Bought in September 2021 from Enrico Preziosi, the 'colourful' owner of Italy's biggest toy manufacturing company, the 'doyen of calcio' was in such a difficult financial situation that it had only cost one euro – not 178 million dollars as was reported at the time – for the US investment group to acquire it. The catch was that they had also inherited the colossal debts accrued by Genoa under Preziosi, who'd got rid of a problem as much as of a club when he opened the door to 777 Partners.

The team did not prosper immediately under the new regime. It was relegated after registering six defeats in the last eight rounds of the 2021-22 season. But they bounced back immediately, and secured their survival in Serie A with some ease this time round, finishing at a more than respectable 11th place. A banner deployed in the Stadio Luigi Ferraris read Grazie ragazzi on the final day of the 2023-24 season.

This is the success story which Italian media have been happy to report. Reading the local and national sports papers which cover the Grifone, it is tempting to think that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds in Genoa – that Genoa is, somehow, totally immune from the turmoil which has engu...

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