Roma president James Pallotta has admitted that he is seeking 75 million euros in investment as he attempts to turn the club into a major sporting brand.
The American entrepreneur, who is a member of the executive board of the NBA’s Boston Celtics, only took charge of the Giallorossi last August, but his tenure has already been the subject of some controversy and concern. Consequently, Pallotta has moved to reassure fans who were left bemused by the way in which their new president was duped by 'fake sheikh' Adnan Adel Aref Al Qaddumi Al Shtewi earlier this year, insisting that he knows exactly what he is doing and is committed in the long term.
"Two of our consultants recommended him, so we went ahead [with the planned investment deal],” Pallotta explained to Gazzetta dello Sport. “But when we presented the contract, the money never arrived. We did all the relevant research; we are certainly not stupid. So, we lost only time, not money."
He added, "But in just a few months I have stuck to everything that I have said. We have agreements with giants such as Disney, Volkswagen and now Nike. Few clubs in the world have done better than us in terms of sponsors. Ours is a 20-year investment, because such projects take time. As they say, 'Rome wasn't built in a day.' But don't worry: with the Celtics, I won after just five seasons."
Indeed, Pallotta has the utmost confidence in those currently responsible for running the sporting side of his Roma operation.
"I am satisfied with the results of [sporting director Walter] Sabatini and [director general Franco] Baldini," he insisted. "We are capable of beating anyone, and we have shown that. We just lack consistency."
Pallotta added that he is also hoping veteran club captain Francesco Totti will still be plying his trade at the Stadio Olimpico when Roma start winning titles again.
"Personally, I cannot even imagine going to see Roma and not finding Totti on the field,” he enthused.
Pallotta, who is the founder of the Raptor group, succeeded Thomas DiBenedetto as Giallorossi president on August 27 of last year.
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