Roma confirmed today that Umberto Gandini has been approved by the Board of Directors as the club’s new CEO. Here is the full announcement and the words of Gandini:
The club is pleased to confirm that Umberto Gandini has been elected Roma’s new chief executive by members of the board.
Gandini, who joined the Giallorossi earlier this year after more than two decades at AC Milan, was confirmed in his new post following a meeting of the club’s board at Trigoria on Friday.
“I’m pleased and grateful to president [James] Pallotta and the club as a whole for this massive opportunity. I can’t wait to get started and I’m proud to run a huge club like Roma and have the chance to put my expertise, experience and people skills to good use.”
“I hope they are enough to keep helping the club in the efforts they have made over the last few years to grow both domestically and internationally.”
Is one of your priorities to boost home attendances?
Yes, that’s not only an aim of mine but the club as a whole. Everyone can see that the situation is precarious and the terrific entertainment the team are providing – and I hope they continue to – is being enjoyed by relatively small numbers. There is background to all this that I’ve been learning about over the last few weeks and I’m looking at the situation with my colleagues.
We’ll try to continue what the club has done so far – they’ve been anything but inactive on this matter. Decisions have been made in the interests of health and safety and the situation is developing. I believe Roma supporters have conducted themselves impeccably and the authorities need to reconsider their decisions. I’ve been pleased to discover – and in some ways I’m very envious – of how much the Roma fans get behind their team on the road. It was wonderful to see the Giallorossi end of the ground celebrate the three goals at Sassuolo, which thankfully were also scored in that goal. I hope all this continues but quite honestly I think it’s crucial to bring the fans back to our home matches.
Are there any other pressing matters?
Roma are a big club and the team have secured some very significant results. They have shown stability at the top of the domestic game and must continue this progress. In recent weeks we’ve cut the lead at the top and we have a great chance to shape our league campaign over the coming games. I hope that’s the case.
Regarding the club, we have a number of deadlines coming up on the political side with the Lega and FIGC, particularly on how to address the sharp decline in attendances and prestige that Italian football is experiencing, with the aim of putting the focus back on supporters. Indeed, it’s pointless organising sports events if no one’s there to see them. I’ve come into a well structured club. Basically I need time to figure out the ins and outs of the club but these first few weeks have already been useful because I have some excellent colleagues who are informing me about how and why certain situations have come about.
What can you tell us about the Lega president race?
First of all, it’s too soon to talk about candidates. Italian football and Roma want to grow in a way that enables us to manage football with greater foresight, which will allow us to take the game back to where it belongs. Whether that’s [Adriano] Galliani or someone else will depend on the powers conferred to them. For us, the most important thing at this moment in time is to amend the statute in order to have better structure so Lega Calcio can work to its maximum potential.