Who is Floriano Noto: entrepreneur and president of Catanzaro

Catanzaro is a fascinating city, rich in history and contradictions. Not only a border place and a Byzantine civitas with Paleolithic and Neolithic testimonies, but also a reality that constantly seeks to free itself from a corrupt public life and from an image of “empty space where everything is the mafia”, as Ilda
Bocassini has rightly stated.

After a period of splendour in the Seventies and Eighties, the Southern Eagles shone again in the football world with an impressive rise from Serie C to Serie B.

This success has brought a breath of fresh air to the ancient Skylletion.

The credit for this result must be attributed to Mr. Vivarini, to the team, to the management and especially to the owner Floriano Noto. The Giallorosso president has fully earned a place in the history of the Calabrian

In conclusion, Catanzaro proves to have many facets: a city of miracles, a crossroads of cultures, but also a place that constantly tries to overcome difficulties and to demonstrate its value.

Floriano Noto: the man behind a success

Floriano Noto, born in Albi in 1958, is the son of Leonetto Noto, a long-time entrepreneur. After earning his degree in engineering, Noto spent many years as a faculty assistant at the Federico II University of Naples. His specialization in the organization and planning of construction companies led him to carry out important private works in the Catanzaro area and its province, before joining the family

In 1979, together with his father Leonetto and his brothers Desiderio and Luigi, Noto founded Gruppo AZ S.p.A., a company active in the large-scale food distribution sector. In a few years, the company became the main company in Calabria in terms of employees, turnover and number of stores

In 1986, Noto inaugurated the second directly managed AZ supermarket and two years later, in Germaneto, it opened the first modern fully automated distribution center. Thanks to an effective commercial affiliation policy, AZ has established itself as a successful reality, first joining the Végé Group (with the brands Sidis, Intersidis and Ipersidis), then with Auchan and from 2017 to Coop Italia, forming Coop Alleanza. Today, AZ is one of the most important Italian sales networks, with 39 stores, 28 direct stores and 11 franchises. The Group’s turnover is around 250 million euros.

AZ also owns the shopping centers Le Vele in Montepaone Lido, Le Spighe in Crotone and Le Vigne in Castrovillari, as well as the hypermarkets inside the Port of Olive Trees in Rizziconi, the Portales in Corigliano Calabro, the Fountains in Catanzaro, the Water Lilies in Reggio Calabria and the Palms in Palmi. The collaboration with Coop involves the expansion to new territories thanks to an exclusive franchise agreement in the provinces of Salerno, Potenza
and Messina.

In addition to his work at AZ as CEO, Noto is involved in other important companies. He is the founder of SICOS S.a.s. (Società Italiana Consulenza e Servizi), a company that deals with marketing, logistics and business development for SMEs. In addition, he is also the founder of Icom S.r.l., a real estate company dedicated to the construction, transformation and sale of shopping centers, parks and shopping galleries, outlets, business centers, hypermarkets, multiplex cinemas, restaurants and public and private offices. Noto is recognized as a successful professional and is currently a counselor at the Catanzaro Chamber of Commerce

Floriano Noto is a very talented entrepreneur and his wealth is the result of a long and successful career in the food distribution and real estate sector. His experience and knowledge of the sector make him a leading figure in the Italian business scene

How long have you dedicated yourself to the world of football?

Since July 2017, Cavaliere Noto has been president and sole director of Catanzaro, thus taking the place of the Cosentino family and acquiring 85% of the club’s shares. Before taking on this position, Noto had never had experience in the sports sector. It was precisely in 2017, a crucial year for him, that he connected his business activities with Sidis
and Coop.

Soon after taking office, Knight Noto undertook to put the club’s balance sheets back in order. During his six-year presidency, he also had to face a sports investigation that highlighted some shadows (such as the alleged combination of the match against Avellino in the Money Gate case). Despite this, Noto emerged unscathed from this situation, obtaining acquittal. “We have always had faith in sports justice and now we can look to the future of our company with greater serenity. We put seriousness, fairness and respect for the rules first on our scale of values, aware that only authoritative and reliable management can carry out solid and ambitious sports projects,” Noto said when the Federal Court of Appeal rejected the Prosecutor’s appeal against Catanzaro
and its leadership.

The Noto family’s financial commitment to Catanzaro has been considerable, with an expenditure of almost 10 million euros in the first two years of management and a total operating loss of about 12 million in six years. During this period, the company has undergone several changes, moving from Catanzaro Calcio 2011 to US Catanzaro 1929, and has seen a continuous rotation of technical directors, coaches and players

According to Transfermarkt data, the most expensive purchase under Noto management was Manuel Fischnaller, taken from Alessandria for 400,000 euros, while the best sale was that of Eugenio D’Ursi, sold to Naples for 765,000 euros.

A separate chapter is that of the Ceravolo stadium, named after former president Nicola, who led the Eagles to Serie A in the 1970-1971 season. Not complying with the regulations for Serie B games, the stadium has obtained approval from the Infrastructure and Sports-Organizational Criteria Commission for use, but it will require a complete restyling, perhaps combined with the construction of a new sports center, for which some areas have been identified, including PoliGiovino, which could become the
approved field for youth games.

In terms of sports results, the first five years of Noto’s management were a nightmare, with the team failing to get out of Group C of the Lega Pro and suffering systematic defeats in the playoffs. The most painful elimination was that of the 2021-2022 season, when, after finishing second in the regular season with 67 points, the team lost access to the final against Padua. After a promising 0-0 draw in the first leg, the Biancoscudati won 2-1 in the second leg, with a decisive goal by Chiricò in
the 97th minute.

The promotion to Serie B came in the 2023 season, with the team led by Vincenzo Vivarini making a triumphant return to the cadet championship after 17 years. The Giallorossi have set numerous records, with European-record numbers: they reached promotion well in advance thanks to 96 points in the standings, 102 goals scored and only 21 conceded. In addition, they won the Serie C Super Cup, a first for the club, in the triangular final with the winners of the other two groups, Feralpisalò
and Reggiana.

The enthusiasm of the fans is palpable and the rise of Catanzaro was considered a real football rebirth that involved the entire city. Like his colleague Giovanni Arverdi from Cremonese, Noto is an old school football manager who has always emphasized his desire to bring Catanzaro back to greatness with local people. The goal, of course, is to bring the Magico back to Serie A, as was the case at the time of Seghedoni and Mazzone, Palanca and Nastase, Mauro and Ranieri

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