Ever heard of the butterfly effect? No, not the (albeit superb) 2004 film with Ashton Kutcher but the idea that small changes can have large consequences? Like a butterfly flapping its wings would one day cause a typhoon. Or me, letting a fart in Belgium which next week results in a huge sandstorm in the Sahara.
Well, AS Roma, the love of our life, could have its very own butterfly effect soon. All thanks to the Diawara administrative error against Hellas. Whether the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal was justified or not (of course not), this could have a bigger impact than we all think months from now on. You know, the famous butterfly effect.
One single point might not seem much at first sight and after 38 Serie A rounds and a maximum of 114 points to collect, but let’s take a a moment and ponder about all possible outcomes May 2021 (if Corona finally leaves us alone).
1. Roma loses the Scudetto
Let’s begin with the most painful outcome. After a splendid start of the campaign, AC Milan surprisingly launches an attack for the Scudetto with a reborn Ibrahimovic. However, Fonseca’s Roma really kicked into top gear by March and April so it looks like it’s gonna be a tight race for first place. It turns out to be a thriller. After 37 rounds Roma and Milan have the same point total but luckily Roma have the upper hand after the 3-3 draw in Milano and a narrow win 2-1 at home.
Things are looking bright, but in typical Roma fashion, they lose the final match in Spezia while Milan draw in Atalanta. Result? Milan win the Scudetto with one more point than AS Roma and Giallorossi fans burn down the building of the Federal Court of Appeal while Diawara secretly leaves Rome in search of a new club.
2. Roma narrowly misses out on the Champions League
Inter, Roma, Lazio, Atalanta and Napoli all hunt a CL place. Milan and Juve seal the first two spots while Conte’s Inter secures the third ticket. That leaves the fate of fourth place to be decided. Four teams are still in the race. By matchday 37 Roma (currently fourth) and Napoli (fifth) have the best odds.
If Roma win in Spezia in the last matchday, they’re safe as Napoli are 2 points behind the Giallorossi. But in typical Roma fashion, they only manage a draw in Spezia while Napoli win its last match vs a very weak Hellas Verona (ugh, them again?). Result? Napoli leapfrog Roma to fourth place as they have a better head-to-head result. Roma are condemned once again to the little brother of the CL, the Europa League, together with their nephew Lazio.
Say goodbye to millions of euros and hello to another fire-sale next summer, all ‘thanks’ to some crap paper work in September. Yeah, that hurts.
3. Roma gets relegated
Now I’m really going all the way here. 2020 has been a pain in the ass but imagine 2021 being the real End Of Days, sans Arnie Schwarzenegger to save the day (another awesome movie btw).
After a more than decent start of the campaign, Roma suddenly crumbles into despair after a series of serious injuries (Dzeko, Ibanez, Pedro, Veretout among others), fires Fonseca and hires Pochettino who turns it into an even bigger disaster. The Friedkins fire their second trainer and offer the caretaker job to Alberto De Rossi, who can’t turn the ship around in time.
Roma manages to win its last game in Spezia but it’s not enough: they fall down to Serie B together with Crotone and Benevento. The difference with 17th placed Udinese? You guessed it: One point. It looks like we’ll have to watch Roma-Monza and Cittadella-Roma next season while Lazio fans paint the Olimpico blue.
Needless to say, all hell breaks loose in and around Rome, Dan Friedkin wants to sell the club after only one year for €10 million and a pack of Skittles. Now that’s what I call a butterfly effect.
Okay, so maybe I exaggerated a bit but on the other hand, who says one of those three scenarios won’t happen by the time May comes around? Obviously number two is the most plausible one, mostly because I don’t dare to think what number one or three will do with our sanity in Church.
All I hope for is that the difference in the end will be more than one point and we only have ourselves to blame. Then we can finally put this whole Diawara misunderstanding to bed.
Until then, better keep a close eye on the Serie A table and pray it doesn’t come this far. And that my fart just now never reaches the Sahara.