Wise a world away from Ashley as Chelsea icon, Fabregas & Henry rework Como


LAKE COMO is among the most lovely locations on the planet – aside from a partially-derelict soccer stadium on its southern shore.

It might come as a shock however the man attempting to kind out this eyesore is former England worldwide Dennis Wise.


Dennis Wise has helped elevate Como into the second tierCredit score: MATTEO BAZZI / COMO1907
Wise is looking to demolish the club's stadium and build a bigger ground


Wise is seeking to demolish the membership’s stadium and construct a much bigger floorCredit score: Getty

Wise finds himself on this unlikely location as chief govt of Como 1907, a small membership in northern Italy which has already gone bust twice this century.

The 56-year-old has been in an upstairs position simply as soon as earlier than — an explosive stint at Newcastle United the place the supporters accused him of being a part of Mike Ashley’s “Cockney Mafia” earlier than an acrimonious departure in 2009.

In his fourth yr at Como, Wise has seen the membership rise from Serie D to Serie B.

He has persuaded Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry to become involved to spice up the membership’s profile.

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Cesc Fabregas is currently playing for Como


Cesc Fabregas is at the moment enjoying for ComoCredit score: Getty
Thierry Henry became a stakeholder in the club at the start of this season


Thierry Henry grew to become a stakeholder within the membership at the beginning of this seasonCredit score: EPA

And now the ex-Chelsea captain is seeking to demolish the membership’s Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia, which holds simply 6,700 followers. Wise hopes to create a gleaming 26,000-capacity stadium match for Serie A.

He spent most of his enjoying profession at Wimbledon and the Blues earlier than managerial stints at Millwall, Swindon and Leeds. This was adopted by the turbulent spell within the North East as director of soccer.

After a decade away from the sport, Wise was approached by pal and movie producer Mirwan Suwarso, a consultant of the Indonesian conglomerate, Djarum, which purchased Como in 2019.

Wise mentioned: “I’m having fun with it. Newcastle changed into a debacle however it was a studying curve for me.


“It’s a must to embrace errors however now I can do the whole lot myself which was not the case up there.

“I’ve identified Mirwan for a very long time and he purchased the membership on behalf of Djarum and requested me to take a look at it and provides my ideas.

“I advised him, ‘You’ve purchased a membership badge and that’s it’. There was a year-by-year floor lease, the membership was in Serie D. No coaching floor. No academy. He requested me to assist, so that’s what I’ve finished.

I’m having fun with it. Newcastle changed into a debacle however it was a studying curve for me.

Dennis Wise

“We now have now constructed a coaching floor and are checking out the stadium lease. We now have wanted the area people to belief us so there was loads of work, after two bankruptcies.

“We bought promotion from D to C and now, from C to B. I’ve bought the academy again.

“I brought in Marc Bircham [ex-Millwall and QPR] and he links with the first team and our B team. I don’t like Under-23s but we have a B side and we play Brentford, Fleetwood and QPR.”

An eye catching arrival for this season was former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Fabregas who grew to become a participant, coach and investor.

Former France and Gunners striker Henry has additionally put some money into the membership.

Mike Ashley was incredibly unpopular as Newcastle owner


Mike Ashley was extremely unpopular as Newcastle proprietorCredit score: PA:Press Affiliation

Wise, whose crew are at the moment sixteenth, mentioned: “Bringing in Cesc and Thierry made folks have a look at us another way, significantly round this space.

“Cesc has simply completed his Uefa B and is now doing his A licence. He has not performed hundreds for us as he had some accidents.

“He’s 36 — if he can handle his physique in the proper manner, we are going to get some extra out of him.

“However he’s actually good with an incredible soccer mind and has given the place an actual raise.

“He’s bold to be a coach so there shall be time relating to an finish right here.

“He’s near Mikel Arteta and has spoken to him about soccer philosophies.

In England, they count on a firecracker to stroll into the room. So right here, it’s beautiful. I’d wish to suppose folks right here really feel they will speak to me.

Dennis Wise

“However right here at Como, persons are taking discover. We bought provided some huge cash in the summertime from an American group however we turned them down.

“I’ve additionally requested Gianfranco Zola to become involved. Simply to be an adviser and provides me his data. However he’s again in Sardinia and has loads of issues occurring.

“We have come a long way. On the pitch, we are having a terrible year. We are not too far off the play-offs but we are not far from a relegation play-off spot.”

An aggressive midfielder and, at occasions, a spiky supervisor, Wise loves the truth that he’s comparatively unknown in Italian soccer so his repute doesn’t go earlier than him.

He added: “In England, they expect a firecracker to walk into the room. So here, it is lovely. I’d like to think people here feel they can talk to me.”

Wise had an prolonged time away from soccer on the recommendation of ex-Wimbledon supervisor Dave Bassett however has now returned re-energised.

However when the topic of Newcastle crops up once more, he comes out preventing for former Toon proprietor Ashley.

And he believes the membership’s followers needs to be grateful Ashley waited to promote the membership to the Saudi-led consortium.

Wise mentioned: “Mike took them out of debt. There was an enormous debt however he resolved it and he ran it as a correct enterprise. Sure, they went up and down however that occurs.

“No matter you say about Mike, he was by no means going to promote to any Tom, Dick and Harry, he was going to promote it to somebody who would take it to the following step. However they received’t respect that in Newcastle.

“Mike stayed a very long time and took loads of stick and when the proper time got here he bought out.

“But that experience has helped me. So has my time at Leeds when I was manager and they were in administration with minus 15 points.”

Now, Wise is wanting ahead. As he climbs as much as the highest of the Curva at Como’s stadium, to level out his deliberate redevelopment which can loom over the town’s super-posh yacht membership, he is stuffed with enthusiasm.

The one subject he doesn’t need to speak about is the latest dying of former team-mate Gianluca Vialli.

But Wise is hopeful of finishing a journey to Serie A which his shut pal, a a lot cherished determine in Italy, could be extraordinarily pleased with.

Not removed from Lake Como is Inter Milan’s coaching base. Possibly, someday Inter will play a league sport right here. Possibly Como might comply with one other native facet, Atalanta, who rebuilt their stadium after which certified for European soccer.

So, how about Newcastle v Como within the Champions League?

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Wise cackles with laughter.

He’s by no means going to reply that query however, within the phrases of a former Newcastle supervisor, he would completely like it.

Wise enjoyed more than a decade playing for Chelsea between 1990 and 2001


Wise loved greater than a decade enjoying for Chelsea between 1990 and 2001Credit score: Alamy

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