Nigeria’s Eniola Aluko is the first black woman to own a club in Italy


Eniola Aluko has made history by becoming the first black woman to own a club in Italy. Aluko, who played for England, is part of Mercury 13, which acquired ownership of Como Women and is promising to invest $100 million in women’s football clubs across Europe and Latin America.

The former Aston Villa and Angel City sporting director confirmed co-ownership of the Italian club via her membership in Mercury 13 in a tweet on X, formerly called Twitter.

First formed in 2020, Como Women operates out of a 3,700-capacity stadium. The team currently plays in the Italian Serie A’s top flight.

Before joining Mercury 13, former footballer turned pundit Aluko, who was born in Lagos, was focused on her punditry duties since departing as Angel City’s sporting director in January last year, according to Athletic.

She became the first-ever sporting director after joining Angel City in May 2021. She left a similar role at Villa to take up the vacancy. At Angel City, she oversaw roster management, the club’s recruitment strategy, and player and technical staff development as sporting director. In addition, she served as the NWSL liaison, managing compliance and administration. At the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, she was part of ITV’s punditry team.

Aluko was born in Nigeria but moved to England with her family as a young child. She would go on to become a soccer (football) player, starting her career with Leafield Athletic Ladies and subsequently naturalizing to play for England. However, as a child, she played other sports, like tennis.

She made 102 appearances for the England national team from 2004 to 2016 and competed at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China, the 2009 UEFA Women’s Euro, the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, the 2013 UEFA Women’s Euro, and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

She hung up her boots in January 2020 after a successful soccer career that saw her also play for Birmingham FC, Charlton Athletic, Juventus, and Chelsea, according to The Sun.


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