Melbourne Victory buying Triestina? Not really

Yesterday Melbourne Victory majority owner Mario Biasin, together with his cousin ex player and manager Mauro Milanese took ownership of an Italian team Triestina.

The thought of an Melbourne Victory owner buying an Italian team conjures up the image of a ‘City Group’ type of consortium.

However I don’t think this is the same thing as Melbourne City and the City group.  It isn’t a multinational corporate conglomerate. It appears to me that Biasin acted from the heart to rescue the team of his birthplace.

And rescuing it what the team needs.  Biasin and the other Melbourne Victory owner  Anthony di Pietro paid about $235,000 back in February to save it from bankruptcy and oblivion allowing the club to survive until the end of the season.

Currently Triestina is fifth from last in Group C of the D Series and risks relegation to the semi-professional ‘Eccellenza League‘ which is the fifth level of Italian football.

At least Biasin, being the owner of Metricon, one of the largest residential builder in Australia may not have to worry about money,  But Milanese has his work cut out to make something out of this team.

Unlike Udine, the other major city in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region with Udinese, the team representing Trieste  was never able to reach great heights since the 1950’s.

Funded in 1918, the club was part of the the first-ever Serie As eason in 1929, and played consecutively to the Italian top flight until 1956.  But then it went down and hasn’t really recovered since.  Triestina suffered its first relegation in 1957. Successively, Triestina returned to Serie A in 1958, but were relegated in their first comeback season, which is also their last top flight campaign to date.  After that the history of the team reads of a disaster after another

The team was forced to fold, because of financial insolvency in 1994.  Then it survived amongst frequent coaches and ownership changes in the lower levels of the professional leagues.

In 2012 the club was again declared bankrupt and the team was disbanded and a new entity had to be reformed called Unione Triestina 2012 Società Sportiva Dilettantistica that restarted from Eccellenza. Again the team goes from owner to owner and faces bankruptcy yet again in 2016 until  Biasin and di Pietro came in and saved the team.

I am no expert in the wheelings and dealings of international football, but I really don’t think that Triestina would be considered any great catch in its current state.  As I said before the motivation of Biasin is most likely to be emotional.  The team of his birthplace facing oblivion and he has the personal wealth to save it.  His cousin being already been a player and a coach and have the will to try to create a team.  I don’t think there is any thought of Melbourne Victory using Triestina for some underhand Anthony Cáceres type deal.  Triestina  is no Manchester City and it is in such a poor state that paying transfer fees etc. for this type of thing would certainly not be seen positively from the long suffering fans that see Biasin and Milanese ad the messiahs that can take their team to the top echelons again.

We don’t know what the future will bring.  I really hope that Biasin and Milanese will be able to bring success.  If we have had teams such as Chievo and now Carpi in Serie A, there is no reason why a team that represents one of the major cities in Italy cannot reach that level once again.

But as for Melbourne Victory…that’s a different kettle of fish.


James Joyce was a Rugby fan. But I’m sure he’d want the city where he lived for some time to have a successful football team/

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