Thomas DiBenedetto is focused on stabilising Roma before turning his attention to the wider problems of Italian football.A consortium led by American businessman DiBenedetto completed a protracted takeover of Roma in April with the intention of reviving the Serie A club’s flagging fortunes.
While DiBenedetto acknowledges the need for the Italian football authorities to address issues such as crowd safety and corruption, the 62-year-old believes his immediate priority is to improve Roma’s standing, on and off the pitch.
“My goal is not to come here and change Italian football, my goal is to make AS Roma the best football team AS Roma can be,” DiBenedetto said.
“We will do everything in our power to do that; we will try to increase the revenues coming to the team, which will give us the resources to hire the best players.”
“There’s 19 other teams in Serie A, and many teams down below, and the powers that be in the sport here in Italy have to see what’s best for them and what’s best for Italian football in general.”
“Obviously we’ll contribute in any way we can, but our objective is to do our best for AS Roma.”
The new regime at Roma hired former Spain international Luis Enrique as head coach in June after he guided Barcelona B to a playoff berth in the Liga Adelante.
Enrique has assured fans and the owners that Roma will play an expansive, attractive style under his leadership and is under no illusions about his future at the club if the team are unable to produce.
“I am optimistic and I have no doubt Roma will play with an offensive and positive style, and I can feel players are beginning to embody this approach, and I hope I can make this attitude come through,” Enrique said.
“If I can’t, then it will be the turn of someone else, they will change and hire another coach, it’s as simple as that.”
Roma have been linked with moves for Manchester City’s Argentine fullback Pablo Zabaleta, as well as Cameroon goalkeeper Carlos Kameni, Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic and Sevilla defender Jose Angel.