Michael Essien's wife Puni has bought Italian third division club Como... but what can she expect?

March 17, 2017
Source: dailymail.co.uk
Michael Essien's wife Puni has bought Italian third division club Como... but what can she expect?

The news that Michael Essien's wife, Akosua Puni, had purchased the Italian third division side Como at an auction certainly raised a few eyebrows this week.

She paid £206,000 to take control of the bankrupt club, facing no competition, and will try to lead the Lega Pro outfit back into the big time.

But those who have had the pleasure of visiting Como and the club's Giuseppe Sinigaglia stadium will immediately understand the appeal.

'Mrs Puni Essien and her team will soon be in our city to meet the fans and supporters of the club,' a club statement read.

'In the meantime, they intend to let you know that they are honoured to be here, in Como, and become part of a club which boasts 110 years of history.

'The genuine promise and desire of the new owners are to grow and build both the first team and the youth sector, becoming an integral part of the fabric of this city.

'The owners also pledge to create the conditions to bring FC Como into Serie B as soon as possible and to develop its talents to the best of their abilities.'

It's fair to say that there have been more glorious episodes since Como's foundation in 1907 and, indeed, the takeover by Mrs Essien comes as they have to change their name from Como Calcio to FC Como.

But once she arrives at the club's 13,602-capacity venue, one look at its beautiful surroundings will surely fill her with optimism.

I visited the stadium in 2013, for the finals weekend of the NextGen Series, a Europe-wide under-18 tournament that inspired UEFA to create the Youth League, and the views from the main stand were stunning.

The ground is right next to Lake Como and the tranquil waters flow into a gorgeous backdrop of snow-capped peaks in the Rhaetian Alps.

Adjacent to the ground is a hangar for seaplanes that periodically buzz overhead, circle low and then come into land on the lake.

In winter, Como serves a gateway to the Alps for skiers who drive up from Milan, 25 miles to the south, and trace the narrow mountain roads through idyllic lakeside villages up to higher ground.

Essien, remember, played in midfield for Milan during the 2014-15 season, so the couple will know the region.