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Report: Carles Pérez to Celta Vigo, Roma Clears Financial Fair Play Requirements

By netting €5.2 million, Tiago Pinto has managed to put the Giallorossi in good stead with FFP without selling a starter.

RC Celta v Girona FC - LaLiga Santander Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Ever since I started writing for Chiesa Di Totti, Financial Fair Play has been the bane of Roma’s existence. A system designed to protect clubs from financial disarray has instead hamstrung clubs like Roma, making it impossible for ostensibly big clubs to compete with the true giants of European football.

In practice, Roma’s troubles with Financial Fair Play have usually resulted in the sale of a key player or an exciting prospect: Marquinhos, Mohamed Salah, Erik Lamela, and Antonio Rüdiger were all sold off at one point or another to appease the Financial Fair Play gods, leaving Roma a weaker side for it.

We might have protested against the notion in the 2010s, but in hindsight, it’s clear that at least in June, the Giallorossi effectively were a supermarket for the biggest clubs in Europe. Those FFP shortfalls ruined any hope for sustained success during the Pallotta era, which stung then and stings now.

This year, when it became evident that the Giallorossi faced a similar FFP shortfall to bridge by the end of June, many assumed that Tiago Pinto would be forced into another major sale. Romanisti were already moving towards the acceptance phase of grief, taking it as a fait accompli that someone like Roger Ibañez or Tammy Abraham would soon be added to the list of former Roma stars who were really only sold to keep the accountants at UEFA happy.

Pinto has defied expectations over the last month by avoiding a sale like that; instead of using an Ibañez sale to cover the deficit, Pinto has combined fulfilling Financial Fair Play obligations with getting rid of deadwood from the senior squad and loan list. Gone are the likes of Justin Kluivert and Ruben Providence; similarly gone are prospects like Benjamin Tahirović, Filippo Missori, and Cristian Volpato.

Now, it appears that Pinto has completed one more sale that will officially put Roma in the good graces of Financial Fair Play:

The sale in question is the official move of Carles Pérez to Celta Vigo, the club where he was on loan for the entirety of the 2022-2023 season. While at Celta Vigo last season, Pérez scored five goals in thirty-eight appearances, making the reported €5.2 million fee with a 5% sell-on clause seem like a fair evaluation. Add in the fact that Pérez never truly shone in Rome, and this is practically free money for Tiago Pinto and the Giallorossi.

Going into this offseason, there were major questions about how Roma could continue building the squad up while only receiving Europa League prize money. There were even rumors suggesting that Roma’s failure in the Europa League final last season would result in the loss of both Paulo Dybala and José Mourinho, sending the Friedkin Group’s Roma back to square one.

Knock on the closest piece of wood you can find nearby, but it sure seems like that worst-case scenario has been avoided. If Tiago Pinto can build off of these sales that have been a long time coming, as well as his free-agent signings of Houssem Aouar and Evan Ndicka, Roma just might be building a Champions League-level side.