Richard Whittall:

“The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer has helped me immensely with great information and perspective.”


Bob Bradley, former US and Egyptian national coach

"James Dorsey’s The Turbulent World of Middle Eastern Soccer (has) become a reference point for those seeking the latest information as well as looking at the broader picture."
Alon Raab in The International Journal of the History of Sport

“Dorsey’s blog is a goldmine of information.”

Play the Game

"Your expertise is clearly superior when it comes to Middle Eastern soccer."
Andrew Das, The New York Times soccer blog Goal

"Dorsey statement (on Egypt) proved prophetic."
David Zirin, Sports Illustrated

"Essential Reading"
Change FIFA

"A fantastic new blog'
Richard Whitall of A More Splendid Life

"James combines his intimate knowledge of the region with a great passion for soccer"
Christopher Ahl, Play the Game

"An excellent Middle East Football blog"
James Corbett, Inside World Football


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Abu Dhabi Says It Has No Plans to Buy AS Roma


Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments PJSC has dropped plans at the last minute to bid for the acquisition of Italian football club A.S. Roma, a three-time Italian champion.

Aabar was believed to have submitted a €150 million bid for the indebted club that has been on the market for months.

Although AS Roma has a net debt of only €9 million, the club is on the block because its majority shareholder, La Compagnia Italpetroli S.p.A, is being forced by UniCredit to clear €325 it owes the troubled bank, according to soccer business blog The Swiss Ramble.

UniCredit, which owns 49 per cent of Italpetroli, took control of AS Roma last year in an attempt to recover at least some of the monies owed.

"I can confirm that the recent talks and press speculation about Aabar's interest to buy AS Roma are unfounded," Mohamed Al-Husseiny, the chief executive officer of the Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle, said in a statement.

"Aabar has not submitted a bid to acquire Roma and does not intend to do so in the future. Aabar ... wishes to distance itself from such rumours, also in the interest of a proper and fair auction sale process of the Italian football club," Al-Husseiny said.

Aabar last year acquired a 4.99 percent stake in AS Roma administrator UniCredit for €49.8 million.

A US consortium that includes Thomas DiBenedetto, whose investment firm Boston International Group Inc. owns the Boston Red Sox baseball club and English Premier League team Liverpool, as well as Julian Movsesian of Succession Capital Alliance and Giampaolo Angelucci, a Rome-based business magnate with interests in health-care, are believed to be bidding for the club alongside two unidentified potential buyers.

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