Roma president James Pallotta was interviewed today by the Associated Press and was very candid on various topics. Here are his words:
On the Stadium.
We have to be breaking ground in February or March. The approval has to be any day now. We don’t want to sell it. We think there’s a huge opportunity for us to build a championship-caliber team with a stadium and an entertainment complex. But if they can’t get the approval stuff in order then someone else is going to have to go through with it.
I’m so upset at UEFA. It’s a joke. It’s crazy. It makes no sense. They don’t have the money. (Elliott CEO Paul Singer) is a friend of mine. They’re going to own the team. They have the debt.
On owning the club for 5 years.
I wish I knew the sport back then as well as I do now. And I wish I knew a lot of the characters and the players — both good and bad — in the game. There’s just a lot of things to learn and navigate. The first couple of years I ended up spending so much time with the financial side of it and cleaning it up and dealing with the banks. I inherited a bunch of things that have taken some time to clean up and I feel like we’re now in the right spot for a lot of things.
Monchi and Transfers.
It’s just a completely different animal from what I’ve seen before. When he (Monchi) was at Seville he knew that for 15 years he had to make up revenue or losses because they didn’t have enough revenue. So he became really, really good at identifying players — young players — that he didn’t have to pay a lot of money for and created a lot of value with. I tried to buy low and sell high.
On the Summer Window.
Kolarov was a steal. I think (Gonalons) will be the big surprise for what we paid for him. I think we have as strong a midfield as we’ve had. That’s what he does really well. He has a huge network and the guy works relentlessly. I don’t know if he sleeps, which I like because I don’t sleep.”
He needs some time to think. We’ve had a lot of conversations. We’re pretty open to helping him and working with him for the benefit of both him and the team.
The way they manipulate stories? It is way, way beyond anything in the U.S. It took me a long time to wake up and not read the papers. I don’t even pick them up anymore. Every other day there’s one article or something that I want to jump out the window at. The (stuff) that they’re saying is just wrong. Luciano used to over-think it. I would go in his office and say, ‘Luciano, how are you today?’ And then I would walk out and he would ask somebody, ‘What do you think he meant by that?’ I loved the guy but the media could drive him crazy. He would just fight them.
On Di Francesco
(Di Francesco) played here, he was well liked, they know him. And sometimes when you get a new coach you have some of the media sniping, ‘Bad choice, bad choice.’ But everybody thought it was good. I was shocked.