I'm not sure it says more about AS Roma or simply the cost of doing business in Italy, but one can't help but notice that the construction of Roma's grand new home, the Stadio della Roma, has hinged, in part, on acquiring land from corrupt businessman/land developer Luca Parnasi, who was charged with multiple crimes including criminal association, fraud and illegal financing in conjunction with Roma's stadium project at Tor di Valle.
With Parnasi facing legal heat, his associated properties—Capital Dev, Parsitalia and Eurnova—will soon be sold to Czech developer Radovan Vitek for approximately €300 million. And it's that last company, Eurnova—a construction firm—that owns the land upon which the Stadio della Roma will be built in the Tor di Valle region in the southwest quadrant of Roma.
Once Vitek officially takes control of the Tor di Valle property, that should pave the way for Vitek and Friedkin to hash out a plan to actually build the stadium, provided Roma's assortment of politicians finally green light the project.
But it's not all good news. A few hours before the Vitek updates sprang forth, there were whispers that Dan Friedkin (per Milano Finanza) may be seeking new locations in which to build Roma's new stadium. While we can't fault Friedkin for charting his own path, opting for a new stadium design in a new location means the entire bureaucratic process starts anew, which could push the timeline for the Stadio della Roma, or more likely the Toyota Dome, back several years, if not more.
Friedkin choosing a different location is no sweat off Vitek's back, as he would reportedly use the land for mixed commercial/residential purposes, but there is no bigger puzzle piece for Friedkin than building a club-owned and controlled stadium; it really is the key to unlocking the club's massive potential, and he only gets one shot at. So if he thinks changing plans and locations is the right way to go, he better have the persistence and temerity to see through what could potentially be a decade-long process.
With the club running over a half a billion in losses over the past decade, the club's very future may rest on this decision.
Get it right, Mr. Friedkin.