The Fortitudo Bologna basketball team, saddled with a debt of an estimated €8 million, will not be playing in Italy’s Serie A division next season yet again – and today the question becomes whether the basketball team will exist at all for 2010-11 or become just another casualty of ‘10s economics.
Italian Basketball Federation president Dino Meneghin explained that, “We turned a blind eye out of respect last season when [Fortitudo was demoted to third-division, amateur play]. After a year, the situation is even worse.” Meneghin went on to say that owner Gilberto Sacrati should now “keep to his word” and sell the team: a situation which would be tantamount to folding the basketball squad under the name.
In a message to fans, Sacrati stated that he spent €8,600 on copyrighting the Fortitudo Bologna name, insigniae, and future rights for the team, should they return to the top division. Woolly thinking when, for all intents and purposes, Fortitudo Bologna is done.
In its history, Fortitudo Bologna can count 10 consecutive appearances in the Italian championship series and national titles in 2000 and 2005. Fortitudo also made the Euroleague final game in 2004 and the EL Final Four in 1999.