Friday May 31 2019
Pallotta: Signings the problem

James Pallotta insists Roma’s problem last season was signings as ‘feels terrible’ for setting Eusebio Di Francesco up to fail.

Di Francesco was sacked by Roma in March after they crashed out of the Champions League, but Pallotta made it clear Monchi’s recruitment did not ‘fit’ the Coach’s style of play.

“I continually read negative stuff about me and what we are trying to do at Roma and to be honest, I’m disappointed that many fans don’t think I care passionately and emotionally about this club,” read the third part of the patron’s open letter.

“As I’ve said before, I think in the last five years or so, before this year, we’ve done a very good job given the restraints and resources that we’ve had.

“We don’t like it but Financial Fair Play is a reality for us and it has dictated many of our actions.

“People don’t want to hear it but for a long period of time, there was a lot to clean up. I personally know that some clubs have not taken Financial Fair Play as seriously as we have but that is on them.

I called it with AC Milan a couple of years ago, when I looked at what they were doing, and I simply couldn’t understand it.

“People told me I was wrong but now they are being looked at for what they did and they are not the only club currently under investigation and who will probably be punished. We cannot afford to be in that position or take those risks.

“Did I want to sell Salah? No, he asked to leave with two years left on his contract to prove that he could be a success in the Premier League.

“Did I want to get rid of Alisson? No, but we had to address Financial Fair Play and he also wanted to go to a team who could pay him a lot more than our resources would allow.

“Sometimes we sell players because we have to address Financial Fair Play, other times we make sales that we believe are for the betterment of the team.

“Maybe the impact won’t be felt immediately but for the future of the team, we thought at the time that all of our sales made sense.

“Do we get it wrong sometimes? Of course, every club does. Did we get it wrong a lot last summer? Without question.

“The biggest issue in the last year was not sales, instead it was our purchases. There’s no question that we bought some very high-quality players. The issue was not the players themselves, but getting the right players to fit the system that Di Francesco wanted to play.

“I outlined the issues and the needs of Roma last May to Monchi. Monchi asked for 100 percent control and trust as our sporting director.

“I look back almost daily on our summer transfer market and maybe I shouldn’t have given up all that control. The team simply didn’t fit well together with the system that Di Francesco wanted to play.

“At the end of the transfer market, I looked at what had been done and realised this probably wasn’t going to work.

“I felt terrible for the position Di Francesco was put in. When things were going sideways, Di Francesco told us he may have lost the dressing room and if we think it’s time for him to go, then he will go without a fight.

“Di Francesco has always been first-class. He is a true gentleman. He was clearly put in what I think was a tough position this past year and was collateral damage. That’s something that we all regret.”

The American then leapt to the defence of external consultant Franco Baldini, who is seen by some as the Giallorossi’s silent ruler.

“What do I think when I see people protesting against me? Let me make this clear: I can take the beatings. When results don’t go our way or other teams win or we make football decisions that some people don’t agree with, I’ve been a target and a punching bag almost on a daily basis. Although it’s tiring, I can take it.

“However, what I can’t take and what I think is disgraceful and despicable and certainly not representative of Roma and our fans are the hundreds of people who have called my sisters such names such as sluts, whores and pigs.

“Someone else that seems to get beat on and constantly berated is Franco Baldini. For a long time, Franco has been a very valuable sounding board and confidante of mine and Franco has never done anything to the detriment of this club.

“If you think Franco is involved in most of the club decisions then you are completely wrong. It’s clear that some people are trying to stir up a lot of trouble for a guy who quietly has always given me great advice and has helped us with some of the best players that we have on our team and some of our best sales over time.

“From looking at the protests, it seems that people believe he was involved in the Daniele contract decision and that’s simply not true. Franco had no input at all on Daniele.

“I didn’t even talk to him about it because the discussions were with management over the last two years, as we looked at extensions and contracts.

“We all have to make sure that - whether people like it or not - we make decisions that are for the betterment of the team.

“I don’t mean just for the people who are playing on the pitch but for the hundreds of employees that we have, and what we are trying to accomplish together.

“It can never be about one person if we are trying to have a great team, culture and winning tradition.

“Now, that being said, we need to treat people with the respect that they deserve.”

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