- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

BOLOGNA, Italy (AP) - New York lawyer Joe Tacopina and Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo are promising to restore cash-strapped Serie B football club Bologna to its former glory.

The North Americans were presented as the new owners of the seven-time Serie A champion on Thursday.

“We plan to stay for decades, and our first goal is returning to Serie A,” said Tacopina, the club’s new president.

Saputo has been reported as the biggest investor in the deal.

“It’s not important who the richest investor is,” Saputo said. “The important thing is that we’re united. We want to restore the squad to its past glory.”

Tacopina and Saputo will reportedly make an initial investment of 13 million euros ($16.5 million), and provide a 7 million euros payout to the club’s previous owners.

Since 2010, Bologna has been held by a consortium including coffee maker Massimo Zanetti.

The deal has led league authorities to delay deciding on a possible one-point penalty for Bologna for failed player payments for several months this year.

Bologna was relegated at the end of last season and stands fifth in Serie B, which would be good enough to enter a promotion playoff at the end of this season.

Bologna’s last Serie A title came in 1964.

Former Bologna player Marco Di Vaio, who is about to conclude his career in Montreal and is expected to be part of the club’s new management, also attended the presentation.

The deal makes Bologna the third major Italian club with foreign-majority ownership. Roma was taken over by Boston investors three years ago, and Indonesian entrepreneur Erick Thohir took a majority stake in Inter Milan last year.

Tacopina, who represents New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez in his drug case, resigned from his position on Roma’s board to pursue the Bologna deal.

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