James Pallotta has apologised for Roma’s ‘complete disaster’ of a season but argued ‘I don’t get one cent’ out of the club and that ‘we need the stadium’.
Roma fans have turned on Pallotta in recent months after the continued sales of the club’s best players were followed by no Champions League qualification and the controversial departure of Daniele De Rossi.
“I’ve stayed silent for the last few weeks but there are some things that I feel I need to address,” began the President in an open letter.
“Whether you want to believe me or not - and I know some of you are quick to dismiss everything I say - I don’t think anyone at the club has been more disappointed, more depressed or more upset with how things have gone at Roma over the last 18 months than I have been.
“I’m sorry for the mistakes that we have made - and one was a massive mistake on the football side.
“It was probably one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my entire career and, at the end of the day, I have to take responsibility for that.
“It’s something that we are fixing right now and some of it is going to take a little time. I’m sure many of you think, ‘Well, I’ve heard this story before…’ but we’re working hard to clean up a number of areas at Roma that probably should have been addressed before – and some issues that have only recently come to my attention.
“We are diligently working on attracting talented people that will help us put Roma back where we should be – playing on the biggest stages, competing for trophies and making our fans proud.
“In regard to people saying, ‘Blah blah blah, we’ve heard this stuff before’, I truly believe that before this year, at least for the last five years or so, we have put out very competitive teams that have always wanted to win.
“We’ve been regularly involved in the Champions League. We have broken some records but it hasn’t been enough to win a trophy – and that’s a major regret for me because at the end of the day, that’s why I am here, to win trophies and create a team and an atmosphere that Roma fans worldwide will be proud of.
“Last season for me was a complete disaster but at the same time, it’s difficult for me to accept the argument that we haven’t been trying to punch above our weight with the resources we have to deal with.
“We have invested in the team. Regardless of what some may think, the numbers and facts speak for themselves.
“Along with my investors, we’ve poured in hundreds of millions of euros and have already spent probably close to 90 million euros on a stadium project that should have been approved years ago.
“A stadium that would be for the benefit of AS Roma, the benefit of the city and the benefit of Italian football.
“I’ve said it a million times before but if we want to consistently compete with the largest teams in Europe, we need the stadium.
“For those who think I’m only interested in making money out of Roma, they couldn’t be more wrong.
“I’ve never taken a salary; I’ve never taken one penny out of this team. I don’t get anything from transfer market deals. I don’t get anything from shirt sales. I don’t get one cent.
“And if the team is worth more at some point in the future, that’s not going to change my life one bit. I have been lucky and blessed and my life is not going to change by me making more money.
“I understand if many of you are not happy about some of the things that have gone on – particularly recently. I’m also not happy – not happy with the football results and not happy that we still don’t have a stadium – despite the fact that the stadium and infrastructure will be privately financed.”
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