Joe Barone, Fiorentina’s CEO, Dies

Joe Barone

The management of the ACF Fiorentina soccer team announced the death of CEO Joe Barone on Tuesday, March 19. Barone’s body will be brought to Florence from Milan for a service at the stadium, and a funeral with his family will be held in Sicily, where he was born. After the funeral, his remains will return to the United States.

Fiorentina has released the following statement:

“Rocco Commisso (Fiorentina owner) and his family, Daniele Pradè, Nicolas Burdisso, Alessandro Ferrari, Vincenzo Italiano, Cristiano Biraghi and everyone associated with Fiorentina are utterly devastated by the terrible loss of a man who showed great professionalism and gave his heart and soul to the team. He was a treasured friend who always stayed strong both in the happiest and, above all, the most difficult moments.”

Fiorentina was scheduled to play an away game against Atalanta on Sunday, March 17 at 6 pm at Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo. Beforehand, the general manager, Joe Barone, had a heart attack around 3:30 pm at the Hotel Devero where he was meeting with the team.

The 58-year-old Italian-American arrived at the Bergamo local hospital in code red, then he was transported to San Raffaele Hospital in Milan in critical condition.  While fans and the Atalanta team were already in the stadium, the Fiorentina team stayed at the hotel. At about an hour until set kick-off it was announced that the game would be postponed. Fans starting booing and chanting because the speaker did not specify the reasons of the postponement. The rescheduled date has yet to be released.

Fiorentina gave an update on Monday, March 18 in an official statement: “After surgery, Barone is in the ICU in critical condition and on life support.” (Amaya Gallay & Sophia Koch)