Management agreement between Ringier Sports and Walden Football LLC

As of August 13, 2021, Chicago-based Walden Football LLC acquired 100 percent of the shares in F.C. Lugano SA and is therefore - subject to the approval of the Swiss Football League (SFL), which has already been requested - the sole owner of the Ticino football club which is currently ranked no. 3 in the Credit Suisse Super League.

Walden Football LLC, which is part of the sports empire of US entrepreneur Joe Mansueto, who also owns the MLS club Chicago Fire FC, is transferring the management of its Swiss business, i.e. the operational management of F.C. Lugano, to Ringier Sports with immediate effect as part of a collaboration agreed for an indefinite period.

Martin Blaser, who has been CEO of Ringier Sports since 1 September 2017, will be responsible for this mandate. As part of this task, Martin Blaser will become a member of the Board of Directors of F.C. Lugano SA and will hold overall responsibility for the operational business of the football organisation from the Sottoceneri.

Marc Walder, Chairman, Ringier Sports AG: ‘This acquisition by Joe Mansueto is great news for F.C. Lugano and the Swiss Football League. It makes a valuable and important contribution to strengthening professional club football in Ticino. Ringier Sports is proud to be part of this long-term and professionally planned commitment.’

Georg Heitz, Sporting Director, Chicago Fire FC: ‘The acquisition of F.C. Lugano has enabled us to realise an important strategic goal. We want to work with proven experts in the field to make this investment successful and sustainable in the medium to long term. We are all the more delighted therefore that we can count on Martin Blaser, who has worked in the Swiss football business for decades, and on the professional network of Ringier Sports.’

Ringier Sports will provide information at a later date on the restructuring of the day-to-day business within the sports business agency.

Ringier AG, Corporate Communications

About Ringier Sports

Ringier Sports AG concentrates on marketing Swiss clubs, associations and organisations, as well as national and international events on the Swiss market. Its focus is on spectator sports like football and ice hockey, in addition to sports that have a high number of registered and/or active participants. At the same time, exploiting commercial rights in national leagues and the future development and marketing of national events and championships remain key for Ringier Sports AG. In this regard, Ringier Sports AG can count on its employees’ long-standing knowledge and relies on its broad network of well-known and established partners.