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Which Fictional Billionaire Would Make the Best Roma Owner?

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Rules and consequences don't matter in cartoons. Maybe that's exactly what Roma needs.

Disney XD’s “Ducktales” - Season One

Most of the CdT stories you read come from thoughtful research and detailed outlines, but some pieces, like the one you're about to read, come out of nowhere. A few days ago, while discussing the potential pitfalls of a failed Friedkin takeover, Jimmy and I joked about a few other alternate owners; a list of billionaires and wealthy eccentrics who could potentially make the Roma experience even more interesting.

The conversation quickly shifted from Mackenzie Bezos and Warren Buffet to some other, shall we say, more entertaining options. From miserly water foul to high powered ad executives to titular characters of American literature, there were no shortage of options.

Roma is a city of myth and legend anyway, so why not have a fictional owner? Here are a few possibilities, animated or otherwise.

Scrooge McDuck

Disney XD’s “Ducktales” - Season One

Bio

Most of us probably picture Scrooge as the avaricious old caretaker of Huey, Dewey and Louie, who spends his days swimming in his vault of gold coins, but did you know that Mr. McDuck crawled his way up from the slums of Scotland?

Raised in Glasgow, young McDuck spent his youth toiling away as a shoe-shiner until one fateful day in 1877. After shining the mud-stained shoes of a ditch digger, McDuck was paid with an 1875 U.S. Dime; a useless currency in late 19th century Scotland, but that bit of currency would change McDuck's life forever.

Initially jilted by this useless currency, McDuck quickly found inspiration in that dime and set-off for America to make his fortune. With this lucky dime always by his side, McDuck soon struck gold in the Klondike, making his first million by 1899.

And the rest, as they say, is history. With his “Number One Dime” providing almost divine providence, McDuck, through good old fashion Gilded Age industry and, you know, treasure hunting, soon became the richest duck in the world. McDuck was rumored to have three cubic acres of cash in his famous Money Bin, or, as an actual article from Time magazine estimated, “one multiplujillion, nine obsquatumatillion, six hundred twenty-three dollars and sixty-two cents”

Pros of a McDuck Ownership

Well, it's obvious, right? With his absurd wealth, McDuck could buy Roma without breaking a sweat and could conceivably afford any player in the world. And he'd do it the right way. McDuck may be a miserly fellow, but he had his own stringent code of ethics, so we wouldn't have to reconcile any human rights abuses with this owner.

Plus, have you seen his money bin or his mansion? McDuck would quickly kick the Stadio Olimpico to the curb and gift Roma with the most palatial stadium on the planet.

Cons of a McDuck Ownership

McDuck may have obscene wealth, but he came about it of his own accord, which might account for his spend-thrift ways. Scrooge seemed to enjoy swimming in his wealth more than spending it, so, even though he could buy the club without batting an eye, he might not actually invest much in the product on the pitch.

Plus, you know, he might be bat shit crazy. How else would you describe an old man who carries around a lucky dime? Imagine he misplaced it and decided he had to sell off Roma's best players to recapture that mystical juju.

Speaking of shit, ducks aren't exactly known for their digestive discretion...that running track would be a mess with McDuck and his family running around.

Charles Montgomery Burns

Bio

Charles Montgomery Burns, a/k/a C.M. Burns, a/k/a “Monty”Burns a/k/a Mr. Burns was born in Springfield, USA circa 1886. Initially raised in humble surroundings, young Monty soon left to live with Colonel Wainwright Montgomery Burns, a heartless billionaire (and Monty's grandfather, as it turned out), who owned an “atom mill” where workers split atoms with a sledge hammer.

Burns would go on to attend Yale University, where he studied business, played on the varsity football team and was a member of the Skull & Bones secret society. After graduating in 1914, Burns led an interesting life, including serving on both sides of WWII, highlighted by his service with the Flying Hellfish at the Battle of the Bulge, feuding with FDR over who would receive the 000-00-0001 Social Security Number and even dabbling in bio-terrorism.

Burns is best known for owning the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, but he used his wealth to acquire, among other assets, the Springfield Isotopes, the Monty Burns Casino, the Burns Slant Drilling Company and even the Little Lisa Recycling Plant. He's got a diabolical and diverse portfolio.

Burns has an estimated net-worth of at least $1.8 billion.

Pros of a Mr. Burns Ownership

Well, if his stacking of the power plant's softball team is any indication, a Burns-led Roma would be a murder's row of talented players. With his money and megalomaniac tendencies, Burns would stop at nothing to make Roma the dominant power in global football.

Cons of a Mr. Burns Ownership

As great as that softball team may have been, we're still talking about a guy who literally tried (in vain) to steal candy from a baby AND devised a way to block out the sun, so I'm not sure we could trust him.

Don Draper and Sterling Cooper

Madame Tussauds New York And Jon Hamm Unveil Don Draper’s Wax Figure During Mad Men’s Final Season Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds

Bio

If you're not familiar with the sordid details of the life of Dick Whitman, alias “Donald Draper”, you'd better start watching Mad Men before it leaves Netflix. Whitman, who was born and raised in house of ill-repute, fled an abusive upbringing to forge his own path as an Army private serving in the Korean War.

After an accidental explosion killed his commanding officer {SPOILER WARNING}, the real Donald Draper, Whitman assumed his identity and, in effect, his life. The newly minted Draper soon moved to Manhattan to start a career in sales (luxury furs, to be exact) before venturing into the world of advertising.

Draper, who had a taste for booze, Lucky Strikes, women and pithy tag lines, rose through the ranks of Madison Avenue advertising firm Sterling Cooper, before eventually becoming a partner in the newly reformed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (later named Sterling Cooper & Partners).

He may not be a billionaire, but with his connections to corporate America, Draper could be the very handsome face to a new Roma ownership group.

Pros of a Draper Ownership

Well, for one thing, players and staff would each have their own booze cart and probably one of those fancy cigarette cases. As a slick ad-man, Draper would ensure Roma were equally dapper, likely luring Armani or Dolce & Gabbana to design Roma's kits. And in order to keep up appearances, Draper would likely assemble a talented and marketable squad.

He may not have the financial clout of a McDuck or Burns, but Draper would sell the Roma myth like no other.

Cons of a Draper Ownership

Well, he's an ad-man, so every square inch of the kit and the ground would be covered in advertisements for Draper's biggest clients: Lucky Strike, Secor Laxatives and Coca-Cola.

And, let's be blunt, there's about a 99% chance he'd sleep any wife or girlfriend that entered Trigoria. Roma has enough injury problems without adding VD to the list.

Bruce Wayne and Wayne Enterprises

Bio

Every superhero fan’s favorite billionaire/playboy/philanthropist (sorry, Tony Stark), Bruce Wayne is the head of Wayne Enterprises, a corporation that seems to create and sell just about everything under the sun. With that comes a startlingly high net worth for Mr. Wayne, $9.2 billion according to Forbes. For context, that’s nine times as much money as James Pallotta, and about three times as much as Dan Friedkin.

That money isn’t just being used as a way to fund Wayne’s extravagant lifestyle, however. At night, Wayne becomes The Batman, a masked vigilante keeping the streets of Gotham safe for people like you and me. He regularly fights supervillains like The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler, Catwoman, and more in an attempt to make the city safer.

Note: We do not discuss the Ben Affleck Batman or the Jared Leto Joker on Chiesa di Totti.

Pros of a Wayne Ownership

With Wayne so focused on keeping Gotham safe, it’s likely he would hand over the day-to-day of running Roma to someone with the actual know-how to turn the Giallorossi into a titan of European football. He also definitely has the cash to burn—if you can make iteration after iteration of the Batmobile without raising any eyebrows, you must be using a lot of money.

Cons of a Wayne Ownership

Well, having an owner like Bruce Wayne would essentially invite every supervillain to hold Roma players hostage. Imagine The Riddler kidnapping Nicolo Zaniolo before the Champions League final, with a series of clues only the Batman can solve being the only way for the Italian international to be found. Seems like a lot of additional headache for the typical Romanista.

Jay Gatsby

Opening Ceremony And ‘The Great Gatsby’ Premiere - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Bio

Not much is known about Jay Gatsby, born Jimmy Gatz. Originally hailing from a poor North Dakotan family, he worked his way up the social ladder in an attempt to win the heart of Daisy Buchanan, his long lost paramour. He throws extravagant parties night in and night out across the river from her house, creating moments of passion for his partygoers while he lives in solitude. Was he successful in getting Daisy back? Yes and no, but you could definitely say he ended things with a bang.

Pros

Gatsby certainly knows how to throw a party, so if you can convince him that buying Roma and turning it into Europe’s biggest football club could convince Daisy to leave her husband Tom, he would make transforming Roma his life’s goal.

Cons

The moment you remove Daisy from the equation, Gatsby’s incentive to do just about anything disintegrates. Add in the fact that he made some, uh, shady connections to get his dough, and the idea of him running Roma may not be attractive to most Romanisti.

Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Bio

Not much is known about Willy Wonka's origins, but, according to Grandpa Joe, Wonka is “the most amazing, the most fantastic, the most extraordinary chocolate maker the world has ever seen!” People all over the world love chocolate and if Wonka truly is the world's most extraordinary chocolate maker, we can safely assume he's quite wealthy.

Pros of a Wonka Ownership

Let's start with the concession stands, which would be jam packed with some of the best candy on the planet. Check out this collection:

  • Bottle caps
  • GOBSTOPPERS!!!!!!!!!
  • Fun Dip
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Spree
  • Sweet tarts
  • Nerds

We don't know what kind of product Wonka would put on the pitch, but Roma would have the happiest and fattest fans on the planet.

Cons of a Wonka Ownership

Well, we know that Wonka likes to devise clever ways to punish people for their sins, so we might see some players disappear in fudge rivers or simply float away. Plus, there's a pretty good chance Roma's kits would be made out of crushed purple velvet like Wonka's famous jacket.

In the end, Wonka's eccentricities might be too volatile for a football club, but I like candy.

Russ Hanneman

Bio

Russ Hanneman, the man who made his billions through ROI (Radio on the Internet) now spends his days as the most vocal member of the three commas club. Hanneman also has a penchant for ostentatious sports cars, early 2000s rap-rock, bedazzled jeans and doing anything he can to remain a billionaire.

Pros of a Hanneman Ownership

Hanneman is what everyone thinks Mark Cuban is: an anti-establishment, maverick billionaire who will take every chance to thumb his nose at old money. And much like Cuban did for the Dallas Mavs, with his unlimited funds, his need to be seen, heard and to influence, Hanneman could put Roma over the top.

Cons of a Hanneman Ownership

Well, if you were a fan of Silicon Valley, you likely know where this is headed. Hanneman would turn Roma into every early 2000s douchey bro's favorite team. We're talking Ed Hardy and Monster Energy Drink sponsors on the shirt, mandatory puka shell necklaces for the players, sequins on the back of the shorts and just a complete and utter lack of self awareness.

Honorable Mentions

  • Cruella de Vil
  • Carter Pewterschmidt
  • Cosmo Spacely
  • Inspector Gadget
  • Gargamel
  • Gavin Belson

Roma have tried the pragmatic, logical path towards greatness and it hasn't really worked. It's time to ditch reality and get a cartoon billionaire.