Roma director general Franco Baldini insists Zdenek Zeman was not a second choice and hasn’t been barred from talking about referees.
The Coach was presented to the media today after signing a two-year contract with an option for a third year, but talks had originally been held with Vincenzo Montella and other tacticians.
“More than a presentation, this is a welcome back for Zeman. Before saying anything else, I feel the need to wipe away misunderstandings on some issues. It’s not true that Zeman is a second or third choice. He is our choice, we took the time to ponder every aspect carefully and had to discuss the matter with different people.
“He was not chosen because anyone else said no. In fact, it makes us very proud that all those we contacted were happy to go into a relationship with Roma.
“It was also said so many times that we picked Zeman because he brings the attractive football we were looking for last year, can get the best out of young players and bring fans back to the stadium.
“They are all legitimate reasons, but too often the media forgot to highlight the crucial one: it’s because he deserves it. This season he made the entire city of Pescara fall in love with his football.
“It is also true that we had proposed Zeman become the new chief of our youth academy, before Pescara came along with their offer.”
Baldini commented on reports that the notoriously outspoken tactician has been barred from discussing referees in the media.
“It is true there is a suggestion that our staff and players do not focus on referees in interviews, but there has always been freedom of expression. Our desire is not to talk about this, but when Zeman does mention referees, nobody is going to come down on him like a ton of bricks.
“From last season Roma have taken on a very ethical standpoint and this also proved an important element in choosing Zeman.”