Today seemed like just another day in the Romaverse. There were a few minor goalkeeper transfer rumors (more on that later) and the club received some good news by default with UEFA officially announcing a relaxation of the FFP regulations for the next year, but earlier today Roma Happened...again.
#ASRoma can confirm that it has today suspended Gianluca Petrachi of his duties as sporting director with immediate effect.— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) June 18, 2020
The coach, and the team, will be guided directly by club CEO, Guido Fienga. pic.twitter.com/334368xdRf
What was initially reported by the Gazzetta dello Sport has just been officially confirmed by the club: Gianluca Petrachi has been suspended from his role as Roma’s Director of Sport. Following a report of a rift between Petrachi and club owner James Pallotta earlier this week, one which took on fresh legs with subsequent reports of a barrage of contentious texts and calls between the two men (as well as threats of legal action), Roma have reprimanded Petrachi by formally suspending him from his duties; a step we can presume will lead to a permanent demotion, dismissal or resignation from Petrachi.
In the wake of this news, the initial assumption was that Morgan De Sanctis, the 43-year-old former Italian international and Roma keeper from 2013 through 2016, would slide into the director role, but, as you can see in the statement from the club, CEO Guido Fienga will officially guide “the coach and the team.” This could merely be a holdover move until Petrachi is officially dismissed and De Sanctis takes over, but for now it seems like Fienga will take on all administrative duties.
We've also long presumed/heard/read that Franco Baldini—who has worked for Roma in several capacities over the past 20 years, most recently in an official capacity as the club's director between 2011 and 2013—would assume a larger (if not more official) role with the club in the wake of Petrachi's suspension and/or removal, but, as of right now, there is no official indication of Baldini assuming a more tangible role.
We'll pass along updates as they become available, but, needless to say, this has been one hell of a year for Petrachi. After leaving Torino under a cloud of contractual/legal uncertainty to take the Roma job to busting into the locker-room during a match to this war of words with Pallotta, Petrachi has been living his own Roma Happened for the past 365 days.