Palermo, the club currently top of Italy's second division, has been bought by a “London-based company” for 10 euros ($11), its owner Maurizio Zamparini announced on Saturday.

Zamparini, 77, who purchased the Sicilian outfit in 2002 for 15 million euros, said he had sold “100 percent of the club” at a “symbolic price”.

He did not reveal the name of the new owners but said it had committed to “settling Palermo's outstanding credit of 22.8 million euros”.

“A meeting will take place during the coming week with representatives of the new owners, as well as the team and the city of Palermo,” he said.

Founded in 1900, the club has nurtured top players such as Argentine internationals Paulo Dybala and Javier Pastore and Uruguay and Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani played for the club before it was relegated to Serie B in 2014.

Palermo is top of Serie B after a 0-0 draw with Benevento on Friday.

Zamparini said it was with “profound sadness” he was leaving but he was “thinking of the club's future”.

“I signed my exit from the ownership, with a lump in my throat,” wrote Zamparini in an open letter.

“The objective for some time was to find someone who could continue my work with more financial clout, with important targets that can only be achieved with investments that I was no longer able to make.

“The new London-based owners will put into action, with the help of industrial associations, the necessary activity for the construction of the stadium and training ground.

“I am sad to have been depicted in the media as someone that I am not, as my entire life shows I am an extremely honest, fair, socially active and generous person.

“With profound sadness and a great deal of affection, I salute you.”

During Zamparini's ownership the club returned to Serie A after a 31-year absence in 2004. He also made more than 40 managerial appointments during his time in charge.

It returned to the top flight as second division champion the following season, but was relegated again in 2016-17.