Corriere dello Sport (R.Maida) Without Sabatini, Roma are no longer the same. That is a fact, not just words: with the sporting director’s departure, every single position within the club hierarchy has now changed since the first structure was put into place by the American owners. The exceptions, among all the changes to players, coaches and directors, are the club icons Totti and De Rossi together with third choice keeper Lobont. The rest has been a revolution in personnel and technology, which hasn’t been accompanied by the “cultural revolution” that Sabatini himself referred to on the day he left.
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’s day after the night before began with numbers. The stock market numbers, where after their elimination from the Champions League their share price fell 8.98% to 0.4633, another €3m slipping through their fingers. The numbers of the American ownership – first DiBenedetto, now Pallotta – in European competitions. Since 18th August, 2011, Roma have played 22 games in the Champions League and Europa League, and have won just 3 (5-1 against CSKA Moscow and 3-2 against Bayer Leverkusen at home in the Champions League, and 2-1 away against Feyenoord in the Europa League), losing 10 and drawing 9. They have conceded 46 goals (more than 2 a game) and scored 25. Nothing has changed, either with Luis Enrique, Rudi Garcia or now Luciano Spalletti (4 games against Real Madrid and Porto, 3 defeats and 1 draw, 8 goals conceded and just 1 scored – and that an own goal by Felipe).
James Pallotta is due to fly into Rome at the start of next month, and there are a number of issues that will require the Roma president’s attention during his stay in the capital. Chief among these is Francesco Totti’s contract renewal, as the captain’s current deal expires in just over a month’s time, but there is also the matter of confirming Walter Sabatini as the team’s sporting director, planning out transfer business for the summer, and concerns regarding stadiums new and old.