Haaland for €60m, Palermo for €13m. City Football Group love a deal

June 27 – With the ink barely dry on Erling Haaland’s €60 million switch to Manchester City, the club’s owners are on the brink of snapping up former Serie A club Palermo for what could prove to be a bargain €13 million.

Haaland, born in Leeds but who plays for Norway, is 21 years old, joined Dortmund in 2020 and played 67 times for them, scoring 62 goals. Palermo is 121 years old, has a 36,000-capacity stadium, played in Serie A as well as in Italian Cup finals.

Between 2005 and 2011 Palermo they played five times in the Europa League.

Haaland is at the top of his game right now, but Palermo haven’t been at the top of theirs for a few years.

In 2019, after a series of attempts to put the club’s finances right (it was sold twice in three months and was struggling with debt of more than €22 million) Palermo was declared bankrupt and relegated to the semi-professional Serie D. The club was mid table in Serie B at the end of the 2018/19 season.

Last season the club, under coach Silvio Baldini, won their Serie C play-off to return to Serie A. Pundits reckon that with the addition of five or six players, they could return at the end of the upcoming season to Serie A.

Palermo will be CFG’s eleventh club ownership and its fourth in Europe’s Big 5 league nations – alongside Premier League Manchester City, LaLiga’s Genoa, and Ligue1’s Troyes. Palermo will have the resources and potential player pool from its sister clubs to make a one-season return to Serie A under their new ownership.

CFG also owns New York City FC in the MLS, Mumbai City in the Indian Super League, and Melbourne City in Australia’s A League. All have won titles under CFG ownership.

Other clubs with CFG ownership are Lommel in Belgium, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Sichuan Jiuniu in China, and Montevideo City Torque in Uruguay.

Palermo are in big and ambitious company. While Manchester City are clearly CFG’s star which the other clubs generally revolve around, Palermo will clearly have its best opportunity since 1900 to establish itself as a leading contender in Italy.

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