After nine months of speculation, pandemic-induced delays and rumors of last minute bids from South America and Kuwait, Dan Friedkin officially acquired AS Roma earlier today in Rome. While the preliminary paperwork on the €591 million transaction was filed earlier this month, Friedkin's acquisition of the club became finally and fully official earlier today at the headquarters of DLA Piper in Rome.
With a few strokes of the pen and a few hundred million in wire transfers, James Pallotta's eight year run as president of AS Roma has officially ended. Pallotta's tenure certainly wasn't without controversy, but there is little doubt that he's leaving the club in far better shape than in which he found it back in 2011-2012.
And now in steps Dan Friedkin. The Houston-based billionaire, whose family made their mint largely in the automobile business, is now the 25th president in club history. And moments ago, he issued his first official press release as club owner and president:
We are delighted to join the AS Roma family. As one fan wrote recently, ‘Take our iconic club and make it one of the greatest names in world football. We intend to do just that.
Our commitment to Roma is total. We will be very present in Rome, a city that holds a special place in our hearts, as we embark on this exciting journey. We recognise we are entrusted with a team that is a vital part of the soul of Rome, and this is a responsibility that we find humbling and will always take very seriously.
I’d also like to take a moment to thank Jim Pallotta and his partners for all they have done for the club. He and his team have been very helpful in preparing for a smooth transition and we wish him nothing but the best in the future...
Finally, no comments would be complete without acknowledging the incredible strength, passion and loyalty of the fans and the Curva Sud. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with you as we develop this club and challenge for trophies in the future. We can’t wait to get to work and for our new season to start
CEO Guido Fienga, who will continue to run footballing operations until a new Director of Sport is named, chimed in on the changing of the guard:
This is an important day for AS Roma. It is a privilege for me to begin to work closely with Dan and Ryan. Their passion and commitment to the club is unquestioned as is their financial and commercial track record.
I am deeply honoured to have been trusted to continue my work at Roma and begin to execute a business plan which, in the first year, will put in place the foundation stones to deliver strong, sustainable results on and off the pitch.
And finally, outgoing president/owner James Pallotta:
I would like to wish Dan, Ryan and everyone at AS Roma - the players, the staff and the fans - only good luck for the future. Like every Roma fan in the world, I truly hope The Friedkin Group can build on what we have done over the last eight years, transforming Roma into a truly international club, and take AS Roma to the next level. This is an incredibly special football club and I leave with many unforgettable memories.
The club also announced the new corporate/leadership structure as follows:
It has appointed, by way of co-optation, the following new directors as of today: Dan Friedkin (Chairman), Ryan Friedkin, Marc Watts, Eric Williamson and Ana Dunkel.
A new Executive Committee has been formed, composed of Dan Friedkin (Chairman), Ryan Friedkin, Guido Fienga (CEO), Marc Watts and Eric Williamson.
The statement can be read in full here, there is also a PDF with all the financial particulars.
Not many of us expected this a year ago, but the dawn of a new era is upon us. James Pallotta did a lot of good for the club, now let's hope that Friedkin can take Roma to the next level where she deserves to be and where she belongs.