NEWS
Saturday October 15 2011
Roma 'to rival Man Utd revenue'

Roma President Thomas Di Benedetto reveals the club “has the potential” to bring in revenue on a par with Liverpool and Manchester United.

He heads a group of American investors who bought out 67 per cent of the club alongside the UniCredit bank, replacing the Sensi family at the helm.

“The sins of the past are coming to be paid now. I think it's important that you can lay out to the future what you anticipate your payroll is going to be and it's much easier when you've got young players,” he told Bloomberg.

“The key is not having young players, but young players who can win. They can play in your system and clearly the kind of system we play is fast paced and very exciting, but it takes people in incredible physical condition who can run for 90 minutes.”

Di Benedetto has already stated he wants to build a new stadium for the Giallorossi, but in the meanwhile struck a deal to begin developing the area around the Olimpico with the CONI (Italian Olympic Committee).

“The upside is substantial when you look at the different categories: media, merchandising, a new stadium. We have a unique level of expertise with some of our partners in brand development and the ability to really have the right kinds of relationships with global sponsors.

“I see Roma five years from now being a team that is very successful on the pitch and very, very profitable as a business.

“Clearly teams like Liverpool and Manchester United and others that have big revenue at the moment certainly have a big advantage. I think Roma certainly has the potential to have those kinds of revenue numbers.”

The first big move made by Di Benedetto was to bring in Luis Enrique, but ahead of their first Roma derby, captain Francesco Totti is injured.

“Early on, the Italian press was all over Luis, tried to be all over me, was somewhat critical, tried to get me to say things that would have been contradictory to Luis and I supported him 100 percent. I think that was essential and I believe in him and I believe in the idea we have.

“It's important that everybody's part of the team and no one is bigger than the team. You don't want a team where players rely upon one player to bail them out. You want everybody to be doing their best and working at their optimum capacity to make things happen.

“I try to be honest with the press. I've told them from the beginning you have to be patient. An idea takes a long time and we'll work very hard to do the best we can and we have a lot of people who work very hard.

“I'm surprised how intense it has been, yes. I thought it would be a lot, but I never anticipated it would be like this.”

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