Pallotta touches on transfer speculation and Stadio della Roma

Roma president James Pallotta spoke with Bleacher Report’s Collin O’Brien and touched on the constant transfer speculation surrounding his players as well as the Stadio della Roma, which is slated to open in 2017:

“Transfer speculation? I do get annoyed. I think the papers have finally given up on the Strootman thing, because Kevin’s come out and addressed it, saying he likes it in Italy and he has a five-year contract. And by the way, I wasn’t going to sell him anyway! The Liverpool thing with Pjanic is the same. We have another four years with him, and we love him. We want to put the best team on the pitch, that’s the most important thing. But we’re businessmen. If someone comes in with a stupid number for a player, you have to listen to it. You can’t just say no, no matter what. My view is that I don’t want Kevin to go, for example, but if someone offers a huge amount, you at least have to listen to them. You’re running a team, so you have to look at what’s best for everyone, not just one individual. That’s the way the world works.”

“Stadio della Roma? We got an early Christmas present when it was approved at city level, I think about 80 per cent of the vote went our way. Now we have to provide another dossier and go to regional level, but I think the city side is where more difficulties lay, even though I don’t think it was really that difficult. The mayor and the city council were great about the whole thing. Now, I think whatever questions we’re asked, we’re fully prepared. Hopefully, we’ll be breaking ground in the summer. It had been delayed, a few things happened in Rome, so it got pushed back, but now maybe it’ll be fast-tracked a little on the regional side. Construction is going to take, all in, about two years. If we get lucky, it can be ready for the 2017 season. We’d love to have it open sooner, but there’s nothing we can do about forcing it.”

“Do I speak to Lotito? No. He has a very different view as to how things should be run. I just think he does things to keep his power base rather than thinking about what’s best for the league. I’m sure he has a very different opinion about that than me, but you know, actions speak louder than words. The Derby? I’m getting used to how special it is for everyone in the city, and I look at it as something that’s important for Rome, but it’s one game on the way to trying to win a Scudetto. All of the games are important. Winning the derby twice a year against Lazio and then finishing in eighth or 10th place doesn’t really make me happy. It’s important for the city, we want to win it, but you have to look at it relative to how we’re doing for the whole year. I’m a Boston guy, so we’re used to it with the Celtics, the Bruins and the Red Sox. It doesn’t do much good if you beat the Yankees 10 times and finish in last place.”

The Editor of, John has been covering Italian football as a freelance journalist for over 10 years and has appeared in various publications including,, and ESPN.