La Repubblica (Matteo Pinci) What use is Financial Fair Play if a sheikh can bypass it in no time at all? Or if 5 clubs have already spent over €100m in the transfer market before July has even finished? In a summer that has seen €2.5bn spent on transfers so far, the financial controls that UEFA hoped would prevent clubs spending beyond their means are being stretched to their very limits. The case of Neymar has brought this to the fore once more, as PSG haven’t given up on the €222m youngster; despite Pique’s reassurances, Neymar hasn’t really decided whether or not to stay at Barcelona, or whether to accept the crazy offer made to him by the Parisian sheikhs, made to him for one reason in particular: a ‘payback’, after Barca tried every which way to sign Verratti from them.
After yesterday, maybe, he will be a little less tormented than usual, given that he’s now taken his decision and there’s no room for second thoughts. What had been unofficial for nearly 10 months was made official yesterday: Walter Sabatini is no longer Roma’s sporting director, and it is goodbye to the last director from the first ‘Roma americana’. “I want to thank Walter for what he did for AS Roma and for all his dedication to our venture,” said president James Pallotta. “I also want to thank him for all I’ve learned from him. Please stop smoking!”
The wage bill has never been so low, which will sound bad but it is in fact music to the ears of those at Trigoria. It might not last long, because contract renewals will raise the bar again, but this is how it is: Roma have reduced their wage bill to just under €92m following the last transfer window. That has never happened before under James Pallotta. The reasons for this aren’t many and are primarily down to meeting Financial Fair Play targets and a result of missing out on income from the Champions League.
Roma are on course to meet Financial Fair Play regulations. The final financial reports for the 2015/16 season will be ready, as usual, by the end of the summer, but a preliminary examination of the accounts shows that the Giallorossi have essentially reached the financial targets imposed on them by UEFA and, therefore, will be able to avoid being subject to the sanctions set out in May 2015 in the settlement agreement with UEFA.