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Salernitana safe in Serie A after trustees accept bid

Salernitana have been saved from being kicked out of Serie A after their trustees accepted a bid to purchase the club from a new owner, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said on Saturday. 

Acceptance of the bid came just ahead of a Friday midnight deadline that would have forced the club based in Salerno, south of Naples, out of the league, were no offers accepted. 

FIGC confirmed to AFP on Saturday that “in accordance with the terms of the deed of trust, by midnight yesterday, the Trustees informed the FIGC via e-mail that they had accepted an irrevocable offer to purchase the shares of Salernitana”.

Italian media named the new owner as Daniele Iervolino, 43, the founder of Italy’s Pegasus Online University.

In a statement published in newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Iervolino said he would “do everything to keep Salernitana in Serie A.”

“It is with great emotion that I announce the acquisition of Salernitana 1919. Salerno and its fans deserve a competitive team,” said Iervolino. 

“I strongly believe that the project of relaunching the team that we are preparing will guarantee balance and stability to the club.”

Acceptance of the proposal triggers a 45-day extension in the time available to secure a deal, ensuring Salernitana will keep playing through to mid-February.

The club was promoted to Italy’s top flight this season but immediately fell foul of FIGC rules because the club was co-owned by Lazio boss Claudio Lotito.

According to FIGC rules, two clubs under the same ownership cannot play in the same division.

Trustees were appointed in June to organise the club’s sale by December 31, but last month they requested a new deadline, saying they had not received good bids. 

That hope was quashed after Italian football chief Gabriele Gravina said there would be no extension.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that necessary formalities for the deal had yet to be completed. 

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