Socceroos great Vince Grella has joined an Australian-led rebirth of Catania in Italy’s Serie D.
Following a declaration of bankruptcy which led to the expulsion of Catania from Italy’s Serie C, Melbourne-based Pelligra Group bought out the financially-stricken club in Sicily.
With Australian-born Ross Pelligra – who has Sicilian origins – leading the takeover, the former Serie A club were reborn as Catania SSD on Wednesday.
The confirmation of Catania’s new identity included the announcement of ex-Australia and Serie A midfielder Grella as vice-president.
Former Melbourne Heart midfielder Grella, Pelligra and the club will try to work their way up from the fourth tier of Italian football.
“Pelligra Group Pty Ltd announces that at 9.30 today, Wednesday 13 July, the company Catania SSD, with headquarters in Catania – Via Musumeci 171, was established before the notary Stefano Bandieramonte,” a statement read.
“Board of Directors of the newly established amateur sports club Catania SSD: Rosario Pelligra, President; Vincenzo Grella, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Giovanni Caniglia, Director of the Board. Catania SSD will officially request registration for the Serie D 2022-23 football championship.”
Catania have featured in the top flight on 17 occasions with the 2013-14 campaign their last in Serie A. Moreover, the likes of Diego Simeone, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Marco Giampaolo, Vincenzo Montella, Walter Zenga and John Toshack have coached the club.
Ross Pelligra added in a statement released by Catania:
““I am proud, happy and excited. I am joined by highly qualified professionals, who will have to develop a winning program, and the entire city of Catania, whom I publicly thank for their welcome and support.
“The fans offer us support, enthusiasm and that trust that we must always cultivate and never waste.
“Catania belongs to its people: ownership is a very specific social and legal responsibility that I carry with pride.”