AS Roma set for sale as Sensi family’s reign comes to an end
AS Roma is set to be put up for sale as part of a proposed deal between the club’s owners and a creditor bank.
The deal looks likely to end the Sensi family’s 17-year reign as owners of the Serie A club.
Roma’s financial frailties have been well-documented in recent years and the situation was worsened by the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League in 2008-09.
Compagnia Italpetroli, the holding company of the Sensi family, owe Italian bank UniCredit over €325 million with both parties involved in discussions over the future of the firm and consequently the club.
“The primary objective (will be) to go ahead with the valuation and the sale of the AS Roma shareholding,” read a statement by Italpetroli late on Thursday night.
The Sensi family’s dynasty began in 1991 when they took over at the Stadio Olimpico from previous owner Giuseppe Ciarrapico.
Rosella Sensi became president of the Rome outfit when her father, Franco Sensi, passed away in August 2008 and her family currently hold a controlling 67.1% stake in the club.
The Sensi family are expected to retain their family residence and real estate worth around €25-30 million and the lending institution is likely to appoint advisors to aid the club in their search for new buyers.
Since Rosella Sensi succeeded her father in 2008, she has sought new buyers for the club with wealthy investors from Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States all linked with the Serie A side.
The mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, has recently expressed concern about Roma’s immediate future to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“This is the most delicate time,” Alemanno said. “If Roma in fact becomes the property of a bank, we will need to be careful to ensure that the team and the club are preserved.”
On the subject of prospective new owners, he added: “We will always seek to confirm that they are focused on the team and on its ability to do well in the next championship.”
Roma, Juventus and Lazio are the only three football clubs in Italy which are floated on the Italian stock exchange.