Como 1907 has turned heads by attracting big names to their cause this summer Cesc Fabregas joined the playing squad, while Thierry Henry invested in the clubThe Serie B side are aiming for a spot in Serie A after years of mismanagement Bought by the Djarum Group in 2019, Dennis Wise has been installed as CEOThey are keen on helping the community, launching their Como4Como scheme Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates

As the European holiday destination of choice for Hollywood royalty, including George Clooney and Ben Affleck to name but a few, Lake Como has never had any problems in enticing global stars to its shores.

The same cannot be said for its football team. A modest outfit that has spent most of its existence rotating between stints in Serie B and C, the side occupying the Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia on the banks of the water have historically been anything but glitz and glamour.

Beyond World Cup winners Marco Tardelli and Pietro Vierchowod gracing the club in the seventies, there are few names to stir the memory among Como 1907’s alumni. A best ever finish of sixth in Serie A in 1950 is the height of their achievements. Ambition has been tempered by experience. Two bankruptcies in the space of two decades will do that to a club.

'It's not just a place where George Clooney goes': Como has long been the beauty spot favoured by Hollywood royalty... now the club by the lake are making a splash in Serie B with help from football's own A-listers - SPECIAL REPORT

Serie B Como are causing a stir as they look to make their way back into Italy’s top flight

'It's not just a place where George Clooney goes': Como has long been the beauty spot favoured by Hollywood royalty... now the club by the lake are making a splash in Serie B with help from football's own A-listers - SPECIAL REPORT

The project, both on and off the pitch, has attracted top professionals, such as Cesc Fabregas

That is no longer the case. The past summer has seen former Arsenal and Chelsea icon Cesc Fabregas join the club, which was bought in 2019 by the Darjum Group, an Indonesian tobacco conglomerate.

Thierry Henry has invested, too, and is now a figure in the boardroom. Aspiration has arrived in abundance.

‘More often than not people talk about Como because of the town, and how magnificent it is, how great it is – the lake, the houses,’ Henry tells Sportsmail.

‘I know for a fact the likes of Benoit Cauet finished his career here, Tardelli played here. It used to be a good club that used to develop a lot of youngsters.’

The hope is that it can be that again. The development of the club, both on and off the pitch, has been placed in the hands of Dennis Wise. The former Chelsea captain has returned to football after his self-imposed hiatus to take up the post of CEO.

His work has already helped deliver a new training ground, on which the club spent €1million. They are looking to acquire a further two-acre plot in order to house the men’s, women’s and academy set ups all at the same base.

'It's not just a place where George Clooney goes': Como has long been the beauty spot favoured by Hollywood royalty... now the club by the lake are making a splash in Serie B with help from football's own A-listers - SPECIAL REPORT

An ambitious project launched by the owners has seen the club purchase a new training base

There is considerable effort being dedicated to improving the stadium, too. Negotiations are ongoing on securing a 99-year lease for their dilapidated home, which currently accommodates fewer than 5,000 fans at each game owing to safety measures.

Securing it would allow for some much-needed renovations, but the owners are eyeing more than a lick of paint. If the preferred plans are approved, there is talk of a host-city bid for Euro 2032, should Italy’s proposal to host the tournament succeed.

‘There’s a lot of opportunities here that can really give a buzz to the community and give jobs to the people,’ says Wise. ‘I think that’s an important part of what we want to try and do. The local companies, we want to try and involve them.’

Nothing illustrates this more than the club’s Como4Como scheme.

While Henry was being unveiled to the press last month, Como took the chance to announce their flagship community initiative. It was a pledge that by 2025, all resources used by the club, from the grass on the pitch to the food sold in the stands, will be locally sourced. If it’s not available, they’ll work with the community to produce it.

The scheme is the latest gesture from the club to a group that has come to distrust those in control of the city’s team.

‘They had two bankruptcies before this group went and bought it. Nobody really trusted people that bought this football club,’ says Wise of a club that counts Michael Essien’s wife among its failed ownerships.

‘Already that has changed so much, in a period of just over three years. That was important to us, to show we are serious people, that we’re going to do what we’re going to do because if we weren’t I wouldn’t be here. It’s really simple.’

'It's not just a place where George Clooney goes': Como has long been the beauty spot favoured by Hollywood royalty... now the club by the lake are making a splash in Serie B with help from football's own A-listers - SPECIAL REPORT

New details of the club’s #Como4Como campaign were revealed at Thierry Henry’s press conference (l-r): Djarum Group representative Mirwan Suwarso, Dennis Wise, Henry, Mayor Alessandro Rapinese and Darren Dein

Other programmes are already bearing fruit. The club have pledged profits from shirt sales to regional causes for the next two seasons. So far, pre-sales have sailed past the 4,000 mark.

The strips are sponsored by Djarum’s streaming service subsidiary – Mola TV. As in the UK, there is a ban on advertising and sponsorship for tobacco companies in Italy, but nothing preventing them from owning clubs.

In any case their business is multi-faceted these days. The majority of its wealth owes to their ownership of Indonesia’s largest private bank – Bank Central Asia.

There were donations to local hospitals during the Covid pandemic totalling €125,000. Another €100,000 has since been provided for other causes. Both the Henry and Fabregas have cited Como’s community focus as a major factor in their own involvement.

The fact that the city’s mayor Alessandro Rapinese was part of the panel introducing the Frenchman shows how closely bonds between club and community are being formed.

'It's not just a place where George Clooney goes': Como has long been the beauty spot favoured by Hollywood royalty... now the club by the lake are making a splash in Serie B with help from football's own A-listers - SPECIAL REPORT

Como will committ all profits from shirt sales to helping the community for this year and next

Incredible really then, that the club was purchased almost by accident. Initially, the owners had sought to own a European club capable of blooding the best young players from Indonesia. Their promotion to Serie C as the takeover went through proved problematic, with Italian rules stating non-EU players cannot be bought by clubs in the second and third tier.

That changes in Serie A, and so promotion would provide an added benefit of finally realising one of the ownership group’s visions.

Not that the presence of Fabregas et al guarantees results. The goal of returning to the top flight for the first time since 2003 is far from assured, as their latest board member is at pains to state.

‘Have you seen the teams that just came down?’ Henry says. ‘People don’t know but it’s very tough to go up to Serie A.

‘Do you know how many teams want to go back to Serie A? Some are well-equipped, some aren’t so well equipped. Whatever it is, you never know who is going to be successful.’

As Wise points out, though, there is more than one measure of success for Como.

‘People now know it’s not just a lake and that’s what I wanted to do,’ he says. ‘In time more people will know that this is a football club. And it’s not just a place where George Clooney goes.’

'It's not just a place where George Clooney goes': Como has long been the beauty spot favoured by Hollywood royalty... now the club by the lake are making a splash in Serie B with help from football's own A-listers - SPECIAL REPORT

Henry’s arrival has showcased the pulling power of the club’s ambitious community project

Gorgeous Germany WAG Izabel Goulart cheers on her man Kevin Trapp from the stands – despite him not playing vs Spain

George Burgess announces immediate retirement, aged 30

Red Velvet's new song, sample of George Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue'

George Takei addresses William Shatner’s claim that he uses his name for publicity

You Salsa firmó contrato con productor Sergio George: “Es un sueño trabajar con él”

Casamicciola: geologi Marche, impensabile 'dov'era com'era'

Rams star Cooper Kupp rips luxury fashion brand Balenciaga over outrageous ad campaign showing a child holding a teddy bear dressed in a BDSM outfit: 'Make yourself aware of the attack against our young ones'

JK Rowling widens her trans war of words in attack on Labour: Outspoken Harry Potter author blasts party for backing Nicola Sturgeon's controversial gender self-ID laws in series of tweets

UK ministers seek advice on whether Nicola Sturgeon's independence drive is UNLAWFUL - as First Minister faces new legal bid to stop SNP spending public money on indyref2

Georgia Tech Football: Willie Fritz is Georgia Tech’s New Head Coach

Seguridad en Bogotá: capturan en Suba a cinco integrantes de la banda ‘Los Apogeo’

‘Different leadership’: Bank of Queensland chief George Frazis exits

Video: I'm A Celebrity 2022: 'Trying to make it about him!' Unimpressed fans slam Boy George for triumphantly throwing his drink in the air as Jill Scott is crowned Queen of the Jungle

'Trying to make it about him!': I'm A Celebrity fans slam Boy George for throwing his drink up when Jill Scott was crowned Queen of the Jungle

Where the Warnock-Walker race stands with early voting underway in Georgia

Queiroz tells Klinsmann to quit Fifa role over 'outrageous' Iran rebuke

NEWS RELATED

Toddler Quinton Simon's Remains Found in Georgia Landfill, FBI Confirms

The FBI on Monday confirmed that the bones found in a Georgia landfill are those of a toddler who had been reported missing last month and whose mother was arrested last week on charges including murder. The FBI used DNA analysis to confirm that the bones belonged to 20-month-old ...

View more: Toddler Quinton Simon's Remains Found in Georgia Landfill, FBI Confirms

Remains found in Georgia landfill belong to Quinton Simon: FBI

Bones found in a Georgia landfill were the remains of missing toddler Quinton Simon, the FBI confirmed Monday. The agency said it was able to confirm the 20-month-old’s remains through DNA analysis and has now stopped the painstaking search of the Superior Landfill in Savannah, Georgia. Little Quinton’s mother, Leilani ...

View more: Remains found in Georgia landfill belong to Quinton Simon: FBI

The Beatles: The lives and musical careers of John, Paul, George and Ringo

The Beatles, 1962 Prior to Ringo Starr joining The Beatles, the group consisted of (l-r) George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and original drummer Pete Best, all here in a club prior to signing their first recording contract in Liverpool, England in 1962. Best was cut from the group and Starr ...

View more: The Beatles: The lives and musical careers of John, Paul, George and Ringo

BREAKING NEWS: Human bones found in Georgia landfill are those of murdered toddler Quinton Simon, FBI confirms

 Quinton Simon was reported missing last month and whose mother was arrested last week on charges including murderChatham County police said on November 21 that they had arrested Leilani Simon, 22, on charges of malice murder, among others The FBI used DNA analysis to confirm that the bones belonged to 20-month-oldThe remains that were determined to be Quinton's were found in a landfill on November 18 

View more: BREAKING NEWS: Human bones found in Georgia landfill are those of murdered toddler Quinton Simon, FBI confirms

1 dead after Amtrak train, FedEx truck crash in Georgia, authorities say

It happened on the Highway 78 crossing.

View more: 1 dead after Amtrak train, FedEx truck crash in Georgia, authorities say

Großer Preis des Deutschen Literaturfonds für Georg Klein

Der Schriftsteller Georg Klein («Roman unserer Kindheit», «Miakro») ist mit dem Großen Preis des Deutschen Literaturfonds ausgezeichnet worden. Der 69-Jährige erhielt die mit 50.000 Euro dotierte Auszeichnung am Montagabend im Literarischen Colloquium Berlin. Die Jury würdigte damit die «Sprach- und Fabulierfähigkeit» des Schriftstellers, der im niedersächsischen Bunde lebt. Das literarische ...

View more: Großer Preis des Deutschen Literaturfonds für Georg Klein

Remains of missing Georgia toddler Quinton Simon found in landfill

The Atlanta division of the FBI has identified remains found in a Georgia landfill as those of toddler Quinton Simon, bringing an end to the weeks-long search for the child that garnered national attention. Bones found in the Superior Landfill in Savannah were found to belong to the 20-month-old through ...

View more: Remains of missing Georgia toddler Quinton Simon found in landfill

'My gorgeous auntie!' Princess Andre shows off her family resemblance as she hugs mother Katie Price's sister Sophie in sweet social media snap

Princess Andre showed off just how much she looks like the other females in her family as she shared a sweet family snap on Instagram on Monday. The daughter of Katie Price and Peter Andre took to the social media site to share a picture of her self hugging her ...

View more: 'My gorgeous auntie!' Princess Andre shows off her family resemblance as she hugs mother Katie Price's sister Sophie in sweet social media snap

EXCLUSIVE: Keep your eye on the ball! Football fan has surgeons install a TV so he can watch Poland in the World Cup as they operate on his ‘lower regions’

Street-Spotted: Peugeot 406 Coupe

George Takei says ‘none’ of the Star Trek cast liked ‘prima donna’ William Shatner

DAN WOOTTON: President Xi’s sick and deranged Zero Covid policy destroying his country is finally crumbling thanks to the brave Chinese freedom fighters. Shame on Ardern, Trudeau, Sturgeon and Hunt who backed such an approach in the West

Παναθηναϊκός: Η υπέροχη υποδοχή του ξενοδοχείου "Cap St. Georges" στην πράσινη αποστολή

BAM decision akin to surgeons reporting to lawyers

Orthopedic Surgeon on rib injury to C.J. Gardner-Johnson

Peugeot Inception concept at CES kicks off an electric year

Elon Musk posted a bizarre photo of his 'bedside table,' featuring 2 guns, 4 empty cans of caffeine-free Coke, and a picture of George Washington

PEUGEOT 408 2023’te Türkiye’ye geliyor

Lezione di geometria. Come prendersi cura del "triangolo della giovinezza"

Turn Your Switch Into A GameCube With This Gorgeous Controller Case

OTHER NEWS

Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network