Italian media outlets have reported that the current American owners of Roma are in talks to sell the club to Saudi investors. Since acquiring Newcastle recruiting Cristiano Ronaldo to Al-Nassr, Saudi Arabia has been making a bigger splash in the soccer globe. Recently, four teams supported by the state investment fund PIF were quite active during the summer transfer window.
Tuesday, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the director of the Giallorossi’s legal department met with other officials, according to La Repubblica. While the Riyadh Season sponsorship was one of several subjects covered, the discussion delves deeper.
The Friedkins, Roma‘s owners, sent their right-hand man and board member Eric Williamson from the US to be there. Consequently, there was talk of something more substantial, according to the report.
Two potential buyers
Two parties eye Roma: the Public Investment Fund, controlled by the government, and another entity. The funding entity currently owns Newcastle in the Premier League.
Alternatively, there is a private investor, Turki Alalshikh. He also serves as the head of the General Entertainment Authority and is a royal advisor.
The Friedkins are now attempting to form a partnership with one of the two Saudi entities while still maintaining ownership of the Giallorossi. They are asking for close to $1.08 billion to sell the club.
Nevertheless, PIF and Alalshikh want to buy all of the club’s shares. As a result, they intend to propose about $970 million, with an additional $323 million tied to the new stadium’s development.
It is contingent upon the approval of the final plan for the Serie A side’s new Pietralata stadium. Further developments are anticipated in the coming months, although the current state of affairs remains nascent.
Saudi links already established with Roma
In October, Roma set up their initial interactions with Saudi Arabia. They announced a uniform sponsorship agreement with the Riyadh Season for two years. This is a Saudi sports and leisure festival that now features on the front of the Roma kit.
Hosted in the metropolis of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh Season is a state-sponsored entertainment and sporting expo. Concerts, cultural activities, and exhibitions attract festival attendees. Worth approximately $27 million over two years, the agreement also includes the staging of two friendlies at the festival. Since the contract with DigitalBits expired after the previous campaign, Roma has needed a fresh apparel sponsor. During that period, they had been sporting the SPQR, which stands for the city.
Roma CEO Lina Souloukou commented on the situation.
“We are thrilled to welcome Riyadh Season as the new Main Partner of AS Roma.
“Riyadh Season is one of the biggest winter entertainment events in the world, where sport takes center stage. Our partnership is the recognition of AS Roma as a global brand and of strategic importance for the future of football in Saudi Arabia.
“This market is becoming increasingly significant for the sport, and we believe that our partnership will generate interesting and unique opportunities. In addition, we look forward to playing our friendly matches there and experiencing first-hand the passion this country has for football.”