Let's say this about takeover rumors; they move faster than their transfer cousins. Where a transfer rumor takes on new life seemingly every 18 hours, with the terms, conditions and price points changing with the wind, the Roma take-over rumors have been surprisingly linear. While there was a brief flirtation with a Qatari group, those oil soaked dreams were too fanciful to ever come true. While that was disappoint to some fans, you could always fall back on an oligarch of another sort wanting Roma as their plaything.
Well, that doesn't appear to be happening either, but could I interested you in a Toyota magnate worth an estimated four billion dollars?
Last month we passed along word that Dan Friedkin, a Texas-based automobile kingpin, was interested in purchasing a majority share of AS Roma from James Pallotta, who was angling to get some one billion before all was said and done. While we don't know the final figures yet, it appears as though Friedkin's desire to get the deal done by January may indeed come true.
According to multiple outlets, most notably Il Tempo's Alessandro Austini and Filippo Biafora, Pallotta and Friedkin are close to cinching up the deal for the almost 100-year-old club.
The terms of the deal, as they exist now, are as follows (courtesy of Football Italia):
Pallotta is reportedly discussing the transfer of the majority package with his compatriot Friedkin and according to La Repubblica, the 51 per cent has a valuation of around €510m.
The Friedkin Group has reportedly been interested in Roma for quite a while and the amount above will include a capital increase of €130m and part of the debt of €237m.
Total those figures up and Pallotta will receive his €1 billion valuation for Roma, who, La Republicca claim, is being pressured to accept the offer by his partners.
Of course, part of Pallotta's problem was the club's inability to get the Stadio della Roma built. While I wouldn't actually blame the club here—they made all the necessary modifications required by local officials—that shiny new building was the proverbial carrot being tangled just out of Pallotta's reach.
With the entire organizational plan seemingly pinned on getting a club-controlled ground, Pallotta's project has been stuck in neutral for several years now. So, it should come as little surprise that receiving assurances from Roma mayor Virginia Raggi is an integral part of this Friedkin takeover.
According to those same sources, the thorn in the Stadio della Roma deal, local developer Luca Parnasi, who was accused and/or arrested on corruption charges, has been removed form the picture, with Czech land developer Radovan Vitek purchasing the land in Tore di Valle.
All of which might...emphasis on might...see the House That Totti Built get an official and final green light sometime after the holiday season, ending years of frog-based and tower height frustration, among other things.
Needless to say, this will garner many more headlines before it becomes official, but the writing is on the wall—James Pallotta's eight years as the steward of AS Roma are all but over.