The name Fiorentina is set to return to Italian football after a court granted the club formed to replace the disbanded Florence side permission to use the name.
Florentia Viola owner Diego Dalla Valle has pledged œ1.7 million for the right to use the name Fiorentina again.
A t the end of the 2001-02 season the club were relegated to Serie B, after the were refused entry into the league by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) because of their chronic financial problems. The club went bankrupt and were formally disbanded, to be replaced by Florentia Viola, who begin lifeat the bottom of the Italian league system in Serie C2.
However, a Florence court have now accepted that the Fiorentina name can be used by Florentia, who won promotion to Serie C1 this season, after Dalla Valle’s agreed to pay the £1.7 million.
‘There is great satisfaction,’ said lawyer Roberto Russo.
Just four years ago, a star-studded Fiorentina team, including the likes of Gabriel Batistuta, Rui Costa and Enrich Chiesa, were playing Champions League football. Their fall from grace was swift and dramatic and the latest incarnation has been welcomed by the people of Florence.
‘The hopes of the fans and the city have been fulfilled,’ added Russo.
‘As residents of Florence, we should all thank Della Valle for what he has done for the club.’
The club’s captain Angelo Di Livio, the only member of the previous ‘Fiorentina’ team to stay at the club in the wake of bankruptcy, paid tribute to Della Valle.
“We have always thought we were playing for the same Fiorentina, but Della Valle gave us a fantastic present today,’ he said. ‘It was a great gesture.”