Lotito gives Lazio a lift

S.S. Lazio have appointed Claudio Lotito as their new president after he pumped €21m into the club.

S.S. Lazio have appointed Claudio Lotito as their new president after the Rome businessman pumped €21m into the club.

Bright future
The investment gives Lotito a 30 per cent stake in Lazio, making him the majority shareholder. Lotito will replace Ugo Longo, who has vacated the position he took over last season after Sergio Cragnotti's resignation. Longo said: "The involvement of Lotito has guaranteed the future of this club. He is a serious entrepreneur and thanks to him, Lazio can look forward to a successful future. This has been the first big step."

Mancini departure
Lazio have been through a major upheaval in recent weeks, parting with their best players including Jaap Stam, Giuseppe Favalli, Bernardo Corradi and Stefano Fiore, while also seeing coach Roberto Mancini leave to ease their debts. It had even been suggested they could be excluded from Serie A as Italian clubs have to give financial guarantees prior to the start of the season.

European place
However, after the intervention of Lotito and his cash injection, Lazio look certain to take their place in Serie A. The Rome club will also take part in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup after winning the Coppa Italia last season. The main candidate to replace Mancini, who left to join FC Internazionale, is former Italy legend Dino Zoff, who has had two previous spells in charge at the Olimpico stadium.