Gino Pozzo Italian businessman

Gino Pozzo, (born 9 April 1959) is an Italian businessman, and majority owner of the English Premier League club Watford.

Ahead of the 2017-18 season, Pozzo became chairman and joint majority shareholder (50%) of Watford Football Club. Pozzo is also a shareholder in Udinese Calcio, Granada CF and holds a 27% stake in Ascoli Picchio. Pozzo’s family business, Granada Group, was founded by his father Gianpaolo Pozzo in 1954. In addition to football Gino Pozzo also have a controlling stake in Leeds-based holiday park operator Ellerman. Gino Pozzo was born in Genoa on 9 April 1959, son of Gianpaolo and Aria Pozzo (née Mortellaro). He has an older brother Davide and sister Angela.

His family’s wealth came from the Pozzo business, which started in the 1950s with a coffee bar. Gianpaolo Pozzo decided however to diversify the business and to “pursue investments for profits”. An initial foray into insurance conducted by the family in Genoa soon proved lucrative. The family then expanded into property development, starting with their first hotel, a Holiday Inn in 1984. This was followed by further investments in real estate, such as housing estates and hotels.

Over the years, Gino Pozzo moved away from running the business, focusing instead on his passion for football. He was influenced by his father and Casa Del Calcio (Italian Football House) and was inspired to invest in football when he saw a chance to own a side that would play in Serie B. In January 1997 Watford were heading for bankruptcy despite winning promotion from Division Two and he bought a controlling stake in the club at a bargain price of £2m from former owner Derek Taylor. The club was £40m in debt, £18m of which being inherited debt. The High Court ordered the club to be put into administration and it was then that Gianpaolo Pozzo stepped in to save the club. But it was only after a takeover that Pozzo used his business acumen to turn Watford around.

By June 1998 he had stabilized the club’s finances and obtained promotion from Division Two, followed by a second successive promotion in 1999-00. See this page for related information.


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