Qatari Sports Investments, the group which owns Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, is exploring the possibility of purchasing Serie A club Roma, according to reports out of both Italy and France.
Italian publication Corriere dello Sport was first with the news, followed by a confirmation of QSI’s interest by French newspaper L’Equipe.
The former reports that a $450-million bid has already been made, but the latter could not confirm this detail. Current Roma owner, American businessman James Pallotta, has denied that he has received any bid.
UEFA rules, if fully enforced, prevent the same person or persons from being the majority owners of two clubs on the continent. City Football Group, which owns Premier League giants Manchester City, also owns a 44.3 percent stake in La Liga side Girona. With an equal 44.3 percent stake also being held by Girona Football Group, CFG isn’t technically a majority owner.
QSI would likely be forced to create a new business group so as to skirt UEFA’s rules, while presumably bankrolling and operating the club through a very thin layer of separation and deniability.
If the world at-large could see through such a setup, then surely UEFA would be able to do so as well, and they simply would not stand for a scenario which could quite easily call into question the integrity of the world’s most prestigious club competition… right?
Just imagine this: PSG, a club still desperate to win the Champions League (or reach the final, even), is drawn against Roma in the semifinals of the 2021-22 competition. The same people, under different company names, own and operate both clubs. PSG is the global brand of the stable, therefore it takes precedence.
“Let them win, they come first,” QSI Chairman Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaifi says to the Roma manager, Jose Mourinho. What does he do? Deliberately defy his boss, the man who will undoubtedly come down from the stands and fire him at halftime?
On second thought, this sounds entertaining.