Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos have purchased an ownership stake in Italian soccer club ASD Campobasso 1919. The duo become the latest Hollywood group to invest in a foreign soccer team.
The Italian club currently competes in the Eccelenza, the fifth tier of the country’s soccer pyramid. Campobasso played in the third tier of Italy, Serie C, last season. However, financial irregularities of the previous owner deemed the club ineligibile. Campobasso was also denied entry into the fourth-tiered Serie D for the current campaign.
Now, the club essentially must restart. Despite this, Campobasso signed former Serie C and Serie D players prior to the 2022/23 campaign. Currently, Campobasso leads the Eccellenza, the fifth tier of Italian soccer.
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos saw opportunity with Italian soccer club
“The Campobasso project is the quintessential underdog story,” Consuelos told Sportico. “When I heard the story about these fans being at risk of losing the sport they love, Kelly and I wanted to get involved and be part of the solution. This is a story of redemption, rebirth and hope that will be playing out on the football pitches of Italy, and we are truly proud to play a role as co-owners.”
Despite his enthusiasm, Consuelos admitted that he previously did not know anything about the club. “I literally had to Google it on the map to find out where it is,” said Conseulos. The actor was approached by the investment group’s chairman Matt Rizetta before the start of the season.
Campobasso was founded in 1919 and previously played five consecutive seasons in Serie B in the 1980’s. The highest the club has ever finished in the Italian leagues is seventh in the second-tiered Serie B. Based about 90 miles northeast of Naples, Campobasso’s most famous victory came against Juventus in the Coppa Italia competition.
Consuelos has high hopes for the future with his new club. “Things are looking great,” claimed Consuelos. “I don’t want to jinx it. Everybody gets scared when I start saying this within the group, but we’re getting promoted to the fourth division. This [is] my first venture into football, and my team’s gonna get promoted.”
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire