Giampaolo Pozzo (born 21 May 1941 in Udine) is an Italian businessman, currently the owner of Udinese Calcio in Italy. His son Gino is the owner of Watford FC in England. Pozzo sold the family business, tool maker Freud, to Robert Bosch in 2008.
Pozzo bought Udinese Calcio in July 1986, but after a betting scandal, the team was demoted to the second-tier Serie B. The club then suffered a nine-point deduction in the Serie A championship of 1986–87 season after winning promotion, ultimately leading to another relegation despite the acquisition of several prominent players, including Francesco Graziani, Fulvio Collovati and Daniel Bertoni.
After a poor season in 1987–88, Pozzo retained Nedo Sonetti as Udinese coach, making several prominent team signings, such as Antonio De Vitis, Giuseppe Minaudo, Angelo Orlando, Settimio Lucci, Antonio Paganin, Zennoni, Giuseppe Catalano, Marco Branca and Claudio Garella. The reinforced squad subsequently earned promotion for the 1988–89 Serie A season.
In 1990, a phone call between Pozzo and the president of S.S. Lazio just before a match was alleged to be conclusive proof of match-fixing efforts. Despite a robust defence, Pozzo was banned from holding authority at Udinese, though he remained the club's owner.
In 1993–94, Pozzo's son Gino joined the club, organizing the scouting network.
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 Sánchez, Kwadwo Asamoah and Samir Handanović.
In 2007–08, 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.
In June 2012, he acquired Watford Football Club from previous owner Laurence Bassini. Over time he has invested heavily in the club, including sending over multiple players from his other teams Granada and Udinese. 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. He has now handed over ownership and running of the club to his son Gino, who is based in London.
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- Frank Smith (2014-06-19). "Watford's new East Stand at Vicarage Road will almost certainly be opened in sections (From Watford Observer)". Watfordobserver.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-10.