What we know, what we don't know

As Roma's stocks are trading at higher prizes by the hour (a two day jump corresponding with a 47% increase), the takeover rumours are gathering momentum and gaining ever more medial space in Italy. Some things are beginning to clear up, but a lot is still opaque.

What we do know for certain is that which AS Roma writes in their press releases (three in two days; I fear their server might crash from bandwidth overload):
There is real interest in AS Roma, not only from the Swiss-German group, later identified in the press as mainly the Flicks. From Wednesday's first press release: "In the last months Italpetroli has been contacted by various individuals who have represented, either directly or indirectly, various groups, all international, with an interest to invest in the capital of AS Roma."
From this we learn that the interest is in AS Roma, and not it's owner Italpetroli, as some major media sources erroneously reported on Wednesday.
That same statement later underlines that "no agreement of any kind" has been reached. That part is more like non-news, though, as no one expected a deal to be done by now, a mere day after mainstream media got a hold of it. The document closes with the sentence "...a seperation from the Sensi family and AS Roma is not foreseeable." This plays into the reports that what's on the table is a 30% stake in the club, not outright ownership, and a continued presense for the Sensis, in some capacity - should such a development take place, the quoted sentence does not contradict that whatsoever.

What we don't know...is why they want Roma. Do they harbour the same man-crush for Totti as I do? Did they grow up on stories of champions past? As the answer to both questions is overwhelmingly likely to be 'no', the only thing that makes sense is to look at it as a business transaction. So what does Roma have that could be valuable...well, nothing right now, but with the stadium plans due to be presented within two weeks, we have a potential winner. The assumption that Rosella would want the Sensi name to be affiliated with the club until it is built (whenever that is) is likely to be correct, as it's well known she sees the stadium as the culmination of her father's contributions to Roma. It's his legacy, if you will, which is why only a gradual takeover seems even remotely likely.

What we also don't know is who the Italian within the group is. There have been many names flaunted about, from Franco Baldini (second on my christmas wish list, right after peace on earth), to Toti (owner of Roma's sister club basketball extraordinaires Virtus Roma), and with what has to be presumed to be some laziale's idea of a good joke: Sergio Cragnotti (I need a shower).

More to follow.