Mauro Baldissoni, Roma's General Manager, isn't usually the mouthpiece for the club's front office, so when he speaks, we simply can't decipher the ratio between truth and public relations fodder. Not that we have any reason to doubt him, he's just not as verbose as Walter Sabatini or James Pallotta. Nevertheless, Baldissoni took the mic during the club's first ever Indonesia Day, a sort of pep rally/kick starter to Roma's tour of Oceania, which will include an intrasquad match at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, following the conclusion of the International Champions Cup in Australia.
In case you were wondering how or why Roma has such a devout following in Indonesia, the answer is simple; TV. Much like the quixotic popularity of the Miami Dolphins in London, Roma's popularity so far from home stems from the simple fact that they, whether by luck or design, appeared on Indonesian television quite frequently during the latter part of the 20th century, when Indonesians began to collectively whet their appetite for football. As the decades rolled by, Indonesians became more fervent in their fandom and incredibly adept in social media, a point Baldissoni addressed:
We are very excited to be coming to Indonesia. For us, Indonesia is a very important country. It is a very important place because we know we have many fans there. In fact, it is the second biggest country in the world in terms of the number of fans AS Roma has one [sic] social media. We are looking forward to discovering the passion that the Indonesian people are so kind to give us.
Obviously, I cannot speak for the club's demographics, but here at CDT approximately 5% of our traffic last month came from Indonesia alone. Couple that with the huge social media presence among Indonesian tifosi, and we shouldn't call this a burgeoning fanbase anymore; they're already a substantial piece of the pie, so it's pretty easy to understand why Roma wants to tap this market.
Baldissoni then moved on to more pressing matters, new acquisitions:
We don't usually talk about the transfer market. As you know, we try to keep things secret as it is the only way to make it effective but we will certainly do something. We know that we have to improve in some roles on the roster and I can tell you that we will try to add to the amount of forwards and full-backs. I cannot tell you more than this but for sure we will see some new players and we hope to be able to bring them to the tour in Indonesia with the national team players who will also join the squad for the tour
That's pretty standard media-speak, but at least he actually addressed Roma's areas of need, forwards and fullbacks. Just exactly who these gentlemen will be remains to be seen, but with every signing made by AC Milan and Inter Milan, Roma's task to unseat Juventus becomes exponentially harder, so let's get these guys signed up and fitted for their rafting gear.