Roma names new president during DiBenedetto delay

Unicredit lawyer Roberto Cappelli has been appointed president

of Roma following delays in the takeover by Boston executive Thomas

DiBenedetto.

A group of American investors led by DiBenedetto signed a deal

in April to take over the Serie A club, but the change has not been

approved by Roma’s board of directors yet.

Roma said in a statement on Monday that it has also hired former

Lecce chief executive Claudio Fenucci as its new CEO, and given the

new executive board powers to run the club – essentially ending the

Sensi family’s 18-year reign at the club.

Lately, the club has been without an executive authorized to

sign deals for new players, stalling the team’s transfer market.

New coach Luis Enrique has yet to be introduced.

”As a (Roma fan) it’s an honor for me to be president but it

will last only a month,” Cappelli said following his nomination,

according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. ”What matters is having a

winning squad. … The idea here is to make the club run more

efficiently.”

DiBenedetto’s spokesman Tullio Camiglieri told The Associated

Press he expects the American to introduce himself to Rome media on

July 14 or 15, and hopes he can become president by the end of the

month, although that depends on when the new board sets the next

assembly.

Under the terms of the deal signed in April, DiBenedetto’s group

will pay about ?70 million ($100 million) for a 60 percent share of

a new company that would own roughly two-thirds of Roma, with the

Unicredit bank retaining 40 percent of the club.

Unicredit last year became co-owner of Roma following a

debt-for-equity swap with the Sensi family.

The deal would make the four-man American group the first

foreign majority owners of a Serie A club.

DiBenedetto is also one of approximately 13 limited partners in

the Boston Red Sox baseball team ownership group. The other members

of the group that agreed to buy Roma are James Pallotta – a

minority owner of the Boston Celtics basketball team – Michael

Ruane and Richard D’Amore.