Thursday October 15 2015
Pallotta: ‘Strootman won’t leave’

Roma President James Pallotta says the club has “never had a discussion” about Kevin Strootman leaving.

The Dutch midfielder has been sidelined for much of the past two seasons, as he battles a series of knee injuries, but the patron says he still has a role to play.

“No question that Kevin would still be a player of the team if he was fit,” Pallotta explained in a Facebook Q&A with fans.

“I have never had a discussion regarding Kevin leaving. In fact, we extended his contract as a sign of how we feel about him.

“In numerous discussions with Kevin, the only thing he continually repeats to me is, 'How much Roma has done for him and he hasn't been able to do the same for Roma’.

“Every time I answer him and tell him that's a stupid statement. Every day he is part of Roma on and off the field, he does something for Roma.”

Pallotta faced numerous questions about new segregation in the Curva Sud, and admitted that he finds the criticism frustrating.

“I don't know why it is so misunderstood how I feel about the fans in the Curva Sud. I have always supported the Curva. Always.

“I know the Curva Sud is the heart and soul, and right now, I feel disappointed that the heart and soul is being torn from the body of Roma.

“I am not tearing it, nor have I ever had or would have intentions to do that. I am frustrated and I am not sure what everyone thinks I can do about the situation when it is not under my control.

“I am trying to find a solution and working harder on a solution than you all may think. Suggestions welcome but I'm stressing that I will continue to fight against those who cause issues.”

The American was also asked whether he’d consider running for the now-vacant job of mayor of Rome, and whether Ignazio Marino’s departure would have any impact on stadium plans.

“Mayor of Rome? Is it easier than being the President of Roma?” Pallotta joked.

“Nothing has changed. The project has already been approved by the city. We will be submitting more dossiers in the next month to the region and still anticipate breaking ground in the Spring.

“I wish I could be in Rome much more. I love Rome but in the short run this fall, I've had to be primarily in the United States working on stadium construction plans and some significant hirings we should be announcing soon in marketing and finance.

“Starting in November, I will be spending much more time in Rome.”

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