New Year, New Roma: Billionaire Friedkin Set to Take Wolves Over

“Out with the old and in with the new.”

This is Roma’s new year’s resolution. The Italian capital-based club is on the verge of a change of ownership as American billionaire Dan Friedkin is set to buy it from his fellow countryman James Pallotta, the Giallorossi’s main shareholder and president. The Wolves issued a statement on Monday confirming that they are in talks with The Friedkin Group, while making it clear at the same time that no agreement has been reached, and any possible transaction is subject to due diligence.

Newspapers and numerous sources are estimating the purchase price to range from around €750 million to €900 million. In any case, it is a record evaluation for a Serie A team.

So, who is this possible new owner? Can Roma fans actually begin to dream of competing at the highest levels in the near future? We will try to shed some light on those points.

Dan Friedkin is estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of almost €4 billion in assets. The famous magazine ranks him as one of the world’s richest, coming in at number 504. He is the CEO of The Friedkin Group and the owner of Gulf States Toyota, a company started by his father in 1969 which has exclusive rights to distribute Toyota vehicles in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. Gulf States Toyota sold around €8 billion worth of Toyotas in 2018.

Friedkin also owns a franchise of luxury resorts and hotels around the world. In addition, the American tycoon owns a film production company which produced the movie “All The Money In The World,” which included some scenes that were shot in Rome.

The probable sale is being received with optimism among the Roma faithful. Current President James Pallotta, who came at the helm in 2012, has failed to reach new highs at the club, with the Giallorossi failing to win any major trophy during his tenure. Moreover, Pallotta has grown frustrated in recent years having failed to keep his promise of building a new stadium for the Wolves, citing Italian bureaucracy and red tape as major reasons for halting construction.

The only major achievement came in the 2017-2018 season, when Roma managed to get to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League after an historic comeback against all the odds at the expense of FC Barcelona. But last time I checked, that doesn’t count as winning a major trophy.

The Roman club, footballing wise, is in great condition at the moment. The Giallorossi are sitting fourth in the league table, seven points from leaders Inter and Juventus. Portuguese coach Paulo Fonseca has given hope back to the Romanisti, with the club returning to its old traditions of playing beautiful and exciting football.

Roma fans have seen city rivals Lazio win major trophies recently such as Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa. They cannot bear to sit in the sidelines anymore and watch other teams create their own glory. Maybe, this new ownership will be the much-needed catalyst that brings the beautiful days back to La Bella Roma.

Regardless of the nationality of the new owner, whether they are American, Italian or even Martian, the Giallorossi will always have one chant in the stands:

Daje, Roma!


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