Crowdfunding Football, Dinner with The Pope & Goals with Wayne Rooney – It’s Five Minutes with Gianluca Vialli

Sport & 20 more Summits – see you at Web Summit in three weeks?

Gianluca Vialli is one of the footballing geniuses of the 80s & 90s, enjoying stellar spells at Sampdoria, Juventus and Chelsea, scoring lots and lots of goals in the process.He also represented Italy, as well as stints managing both Chelsea and Watford.

Now Gianluca is Co-founder & Ambassador for Tifosy, a platform that helps football clubs raise funds online for specific projects, leveraging their global fanbase. Their mission is to enable everyone to invest in football in a fair and transparent way.

We caught up with him ahead of his appearance at Web Summit to find out more about Tifosy, his dream dinner guests and who he would love as a strike partner if he were playing today.

Tifosy is crowdfunding sports clubs, why did you feel the need to set up Tifosy?

I’ve been in football for my whole life. I was very lucky to have a very successful career on an international level, both as a player and coach. I feel that I owe a lot to the game and therefore always to look for ways to improve it.

When Fausto (Zanetton) approached me with the idea, I immediately thought it was a brilliant idea. Football clubs that can leverage the passion of the fans in the right way can realise amazing things.

Also, Tifosy stands for a positive change in the way that clubs should be run: in a sustainable and transparent way always having the fan in the centre of the whole experience. Over time, I really believe that we can be a real alternative for football clubs that want to fund very large projects (stadiums etc) by appealing to their global fanbase.

What club has been the biggest Tifosy success story yet?

We are just finishing a very successful campaign with Parma Calcio 1913 in Italy, a new club arising from the ashes of the very successful and historical Parma FC.

The former club was financially mismanaged, and after a group of local entrepreneurs erected a new club, they wanted to involve the fans from the start. Our campaign was what gave the opportunity to the fans to acquire a share in the new club or get some exciting club rewards in return.

All proceeds are going towards building a new museum that will preserve the glorious past of the club. The campaign was extremely successful with contributions from more than 35 countries and an enormous amount of fan engagement.

I was very proud we could prove the model in Italy as well and hope to replicate this for a lot of other clubs internationally.


Parma Calcio 1913 lining out. 

Who are you most exciting about meeting at Web Summit?

I would love to meet Yancey Strickler from Kickstarter, who has built the biggest crowdfunding platform in the world. It would be amazing to hear from him how he was able to build a truly global and disruptive company that connects millions of people to fund fantastic and sometimes crazy ideas.

Tifosy is obviously very different given we’re specifically focused on football, but I think we would learn a lot from his experience and insights.

You can invite 5 sporting personalities from other sports to a meal, who are they?

  • Tiger Woods
  • Novak Djokovic
  • Reinhold Messner
  • Sugar Ray Leonard
  • Graham Henry

And if they were to be non-sporting personalities?

  • The Pope
  • JK Rowling
  • Brad Pitt
  • Bill Gates
  • Prince Harry

You can come back to play up front with any striker in the Premier League at the moment – who is it?

Wayne Rooney.


What’s your one wish for Tifosy over the next 12 months?

To continue to do a lot of successful campaigns and be a household name for fans that want to support their favourite team and realise fantastic projects. Also, it would be very cool to do our first projects outside of Europe (US, India, Latam).

Gianluca will speak at Sport Summit at Web Summit. See the full schedule here.

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