Friday May 31 2019
Pallotta clarifies Repubblica story

James Pallotta accepts ‘some’ of La Repubblica’s story about Roma was true, taking aim at Monchi for lying to Daniele De Rossi about Steven Nzonzi.

La Reppublica’s report, that De Rossi and several others in the Roma squad wanted to see the back of Francesco Totti, was initially dismissed as ‘bull’ by Pallotta.

However, the American admitted the club – in particular Monchi – should have been more transparent about their deal for Nzonzi last summer.

“As far as the article in La Repubblica on Thursday goes, I saw some initial snippets when I woke up at 5am in the morning and I called them bull,” his open letter continued.

“Having read it fully, and also having since had a very long and very detailed conversation with one of the journalists who wrote it, there were some parts of that article that were true and some parts of that article that were clearly not correct. Mea culpa.

“Some aspects of that article made Daniele De Rossi look bad, which is not fair because Daniele has been a warrior for Roma for 18 years. He deserves respect and I have always respected him.

“We may have had some differences of opinion on how his playing career at Roma has ended but I’m not going to get into that in the public domain; that’s between Daniele and myself.

“Daniele was emotional but he’s emotional because he cares and has cared about Roma forever. He plays with his heart – we’ve seen it for 18 years with Roma and on the world stage with Italy.

“He shows his emotion in the locker room, that’s what made him a great captain, and I firmly believe that whatever Daniele has ever done, it has been for the betterment of the club.

“Was he upset that someone was being brought in to play in his position, as stated in the article? Yes, he was – but that was because a day before he was told by Monchi that we weren’t bringing in somebody to potentially play ahead of him in his position.

“So he was lied to and the emotional reaction one day later was what it was. A day later he came back and said, ‘I’m sorry for my outburst’.

“Also the notion that Daniele was out to get Eusebio Di Francesco sacked is 100 percent false from all of my conversations with him.

“In fact, with 12 games left in the season, I had a phone conversation with Daniele and he personally asked me to keep the Coach until the end of the season.

“So if anyone is suggesting that he was asking for Di Francesco to be sacked, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“My mistake was that I wanted to make changes across the board in football operations and performance training back in December and I was convinced not to make those changes.

“I should have made the changes when I thought we needed them and maybe that indecisiveness cost us a place in the Champions League.

“If not De Rossi, did Dzeko, Manolas or Kolarov ask for the Coach to be sacked? No. I’ve never heard any of those players say that they wanted us to sack Di Francesco. They never came to me either directly or indirectly.

“In the past, I have had conversations directly with players like Edin, who was very honest with me about things that were going on that he did not like as a professional.

“Those comments were only because he wanted the team to be better, and I appreciated that. So players know that they have an open door with me.

“They know that if there are issues, I want to hear them. I have never heard any of them say negative things about Di Francesco.

“I think that there is no question that some people externally like controversy and want to cause issues for this team.

“They want to see Roma [mess] up. They care about their own agendas rather than about the team or the true fans. I believe that is why they continually feed negative information to journalists, trying to sensationalise everyday rifts or normal issues within the dressing room or the football club.

“I’ve been involved in sport for a long time and these kinds of things happen in any locker room. They certainly happen in every sport in the States. I know plenty of athletes and owners around the world and, with a group of 25 athletes, you are always going to have arguments, discussions and even fights.

“That stuff happens all the time in sport – from playgrounds to professional teams. And you know what, those arguments, discussions and fights, the vast majority of them are because people are passionate about making a team better.

“In this case, people seem to be trying to turn managers and players against each other. Daniele has always had constructive conversations with me about the locker room, about players and what we need to do to get better and it’s the same for Francesco Totti.

“To allude that these guys, who have had this special relationship for 20 years, are at war is nonsense. Have they had disagreements? God, I hope so. The last thing we need are yes-men all over the place.

“In fact, on Thursday I witnessed the continuing maturation of Francesco as a director. His insight and expertise with me and Guido, discussing a potential manager, was more helpful than input from anybody else.”

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