Giampaolo Pozzo

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Giampaolo Pozzo (born 21 May 1941 in Udine) is an Italian businessman. He is currently the owner of two football clubs: Udinese Calcio in Italy and Granada CF in Spain. His son Gino is the owner of Watford FC in England.[1]

Udinese Calcio[edit]

Giampaolo Pozzo bought Udinese Calcio in July 1986. After a betting scandal, the team was demoted to Serie B; and a nine point deduction in the Serie A championship of 1986/1987 after winning promotion. This ultimately led to relegation once more to Serie B despite the acquisition of several prominent players, Francesco Graziani, Fulvio Collovati and Daniel Bertoni among others.

After a poor season in 1987/1988, Pozzo engaged Nedo Sonetti as coach with several prominent signings such as Antonio De Vitis, Giuseppe Minaudo, Angelo Orlando, Settimio Lucci, Antonio Paganin, Zennoni, Giuseppe Catalano, Marco Branca and Claudio Garella. Udinese earned promotion with this squad.

In 1990, a phone call between Pozzo and the president of S.S. Lazio team just before a match was alleged to be proof of match fixing. Despite a robust defence Pozzo was banned from holding authority at Udinese. He however remained owner.

In 1993/1994, his son Gino Pozzo joins the club, and start organizing the scouting network.

Since the 1994/1995 season the club itself has qualified for the UEFA Cup, Intertoto Cup and Champions League and finished third in serie A under Alberto Zaccheroni in 1997/1998.

The Udinese model is based upon an extensive scouting network across the world that buys young and upcoming talent for relatively small sums and when they turn into stars, sell them on for a large profit which is then reinvested in the club and other signings. Prominent examples include Márcio Amoroso, Fabio Quagliarella, Alexis Sanchez, Kwadwo Asamoah and Samir Handanović.

In 2007-2008 Pozzo was elected the best president in Serie A.

After Pallacanestro Amatori Udine, better known as Snaidero Udine was demoted to the minor leagues, Pozzo helped his friend Edy Snaidero, majority shareholder of the basketball team. Pozzo and some other entrepreneurs from Friuli saved Snaidero which restarted playing in Lega Basket Serie A2 championship.

Granada CF[edit]

In 2009, he bought Spanish club Granada CF.[2]

Watford F.C.[edit]

In June 2012, he acquired Watford Football Club from previous owner Laurence Bassini.[3] Over time he has invested heavily in the club, including sending over multiple players from his other teams Granada CF and Udinese Calcio.[4] Some of these players include Almen Abdi, Matěj Vydra and Gabriele Angella. As well as sending multiple players over from his other clubs he signed a £18 Million maintenance deal to renovate their stadium.[5] He has now handed over ownership and running of the club to his son Gino who is based in London.