Fiorentina director Joe Barone dies aged 57 from cardiac arrest as club’s Serie A fixture is postponed

Fiorentina’s match against Atalanta was postponed shortly after the death of general director Joe Barone
Joe Barone has died aged 57Joe Barone has died aged 57
Joe Barone has died aged 57

Italian football is mourning the death of Fiorentina general  director Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Barone, who died aged 57 on Tuesday 19 March following a cardiac arrest.

Barone fell ill on Sunday at the team hotel just hours before the team were due to face Atalanta in a crucial game in the battle for European qualification.

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The Serie A match was subsequently postponed at the time and after several days of treatment Barone died in Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital.

A club statement from Fiorentina confirmed the tragic news: "It is with deep sorrow and immense sadness that Fiorentina confirms the loss of one of its figureheads, a person who has marked the recent history of the club and who will never be forgotten.

"Everyone associated with Fiorentina are utterly devastated by the terrible loss of a man who showed great professionalism and gave his heart and soul for these colours. He was a treasured friend who always stayed strong in the happiest and, above all, the most difficult moments.

"The entire Viola world sends its heartfelt condolences to Giuseppe's wife Camilla, his children and the entire Barone family during this time of immense sorrow."

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Barone was born in Italy but raised in New York. After completing his studies in the United States, he met Rocco Commisso and began working in the latter's company, Mediacom. In 2017 he became vice-president of the New York Cosmos following their acquisition by Commisso

Two years later Barone returned to Italy, taking on the role of Fiorentina general director after the Italian club were also acquired by Commisso.

He is described by UEFA as ‘a respected leader in the industry and a valued partner who contributed significantly to Italian football's success.’

Barone has played a crucial role in Fiorentina's boardroom, having served alongside club president Commisso. The group inherited the side when they had just finished 16th in Serie A and have since catapulted them into a side regularly competing for trophies - reaching both the Europa Conference League final and the Coppa Italia final last season.

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"I lose a friend," said Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina. "And Italian football loses a competent and passionate manager, a frank and honest man who has also, and above all, been appreciated for his moral values."

Fiorentina currently sit eighth in the Serie A table. They are due to return to action in a home match against second place AC Milan on  30 March.

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