Everything A.S. Roma-related is in chaos this morning. The Repubblica daily paper published an overnight article (by Carlo Bonini and Marco Mensurati) that claims to hold a photocopy of an email sent by club trainer Ed Lippie (who wasn’t employed by the club at the time) this past December 2018 to James Pallotta.
Because Repubblica is a paywall site, we had to read the blow-by-blow breakdown through other sites. But if this email is in any way based on a true story, it doesn’t make Daniele De Rossi or the Roma dressing room look good. The gist of the story is the claim that 4 Roma senior players - Daniele De Rossi, Aleksandar Kolarov, Kostas Manolas and Edin Dzeko - all demanded that Monchi, Eusebio Di Francesco and Francesco totti be fired from the club.
Within the article, there are claims that:
- Daniele De Rossi took exception to the club signing Steven Nzonzi.
- DDR demanded they do something about Nzonzi and the dressing room or else ‘I’ll make sure we all finish tenth.”
- DDR, Kolarov, Manolas and Dzeko didn’t like Eusebio Di Francesco’s spell as coach for Roma because they found his training sessions damaging physically and his tactics demoralising.
- The same 4 senior players thought of Monchi as a ‘narcissist’ who sold smoke, nor did they trust the way Monchi handled conversations around the club.
- The same 4 senior players felt Francesco Totti was a disruptive influence inside the players’ dressing room and they wanted Totti fired from the club.
- The players felt that Totti was ‘far too close’ to Eusebio Di Francesco and was keeping the coach from leaving.
The claims are by no means limited to these above, but these are the most explosive parts of the story. The Repubblica article then claims the entire Roma management read Lippie’s email, and Monchi was immediately provoked into offering his resignation in December to which the club turned him down.
The paper claims that the club’s response was to then follow up Monchi by asking him for a ‘Plan B’ that didn’t involve Di Francesco, to which Monchi replied he didn’t have one and that if EDF left then Monchi would leave too.
We should remember that Ed Lippie wasn’t a trainer at the club last December nor was he at Trigoria, though the article claims that Lippie names his ‘inside sources’ in the club as coaches Riccardo Del Vescovo and Damiano Stefanini. Both coaches resigned from their jobs along at the time of Monchi and EDF’s departures from the club. Stefanini was said to be very close to Daniele De Rossi.
The only immediate questions to ask are: Who leaked these photocopied documents from inside Trigoria to the Italian paper? And why do all the details add up to making James Pallotta and Franco Baldini look like victims righting a sinking ship while everyone inside of Trigoria looks like inmates running the asylum?
Repubblica’s Carlo Bonini: ‘We triple-checked the facts’
One of the article’s co-writers, Bonini, was immediately interviewed in ‘cmon this must be bs’ radio session at Teleradiostereo.
“I’m Roman-born and Romanista,” Bonini told the radio station. “I know well what effect this story would have. We triple-checked it and I wrote on a club I love. I believe we managed to stay objective on this, and I won’t give my opinions on the intentions of our sources on most days, nor today.
“The real journalists here will be the readers. Everyone is free to believe what they want. I would just like us to all be agreed on one thing. I don’t work to win approval. I would like us all to be agreed on the fact that what’s written in the paper really happened. And from that point on, everyone is free to be their own judge. I already know what the reactions will be like, but the truth is always revolutionary.”
James Pallotta and Roma Deny Repubblica Story
Roma chairman Pallotta has directly rebuffed this morning’s claims through Il Messagero. Pallotta is quoted as saying ‘these are all lies. Someone is trying to damage the club.’
However a Pallotta denial is nothing new. But neither is the fact that Rome’s media and environment legitimately does make it harder to run a football club in peace, at every opportunity they’ve gotten long before Pallotta’s era arrived.
In an official statement released on Roma’s website, the club had this to say:
“Contrary to the club’s usual policy, which is not to comment on rumours and claims printed in the media, in order to protect the individuals mentioned in the report the club would like to reiterate that it is irresponsible to present opinions expressed by – and reported to - third parties as statements of fact, in order to present a misleading picture that is entirely separated from reality.”
La Republicca Hits Back
La Repubblica, Marco Mensurati: "Pallotta says what we wrote is bullshit? He always labels things like this, even when it's true". https://t.co/AcXRO6c4mH...— RomaPress (@ASRomaPress) May 30, 2019
RomaPress picked up on La Repubblica's response, which is, as you'd expect, quite fierce.