Sign o' the Times

I think a consensus can be reached, relatively easily, that this season has exposed Roma to some degree. The players who had played admirably for two seasons prior to this annus horribilis are largely on the wrong side of their apex and looking back at what they can't get back. That includes several starters, and I don't mean to point any fingers in this particular post, but...Taddei, Cassetti, Panucci, I'm tired of you. And Perrotta, no, I'm not buying your play awesome at the very end of the season-tactic that's designed to fool everyone you have another year left in you, not one more time after last year's Coppa Italia final.

Those, and others, should most likely be replaced to try to avoid, as far as possible, a year even remotely resembling this one. Not placing the blame on those individuals mentioned in any higher degree than their team mates, a rejuvenation is however needed. But the problem with Rosella's and Roma's strategy of auto-financing (which has worked relatively well so far, it should be said) is that a bad year on the sporting side quickly becomes a bad year on the financial side, which again, leads to bad years on the sporting side.
With Roma missing Champions League participation the coming season, and with it some 20 million euro playing in that competition would have brought with it.

This week
AS Roma released it's quarterly report, in which the club reports a 23,3 million euro drop in revenue compared to one year ago. The relavant information is on page 13 of that document. Roma's CFO Mazzoleni explains in more detail certain specifics, such as last year including some one-off expenditures that will not return this year.

Some rough estimates, to facilitate getting to grips with the situation:

- 23.3 million lost (smaller revenue)

- 18 million gained (one-off investments and costs)

- 18 million lost (missing CL)

So summed up we're going into this summer's mercato with a bigger and more urgent nee
d to replace parts of our team than before, and with twenty something million euro less to do it with. You thought that makes it look bleak? How about the fact that starting the season after next, i.e. one summer from now, the tv deal is being re-structured and resulting in even less income for AS Roma, now that the money will be distributed amongst all serie A teams. Estimates puts the difference in Roma's income under the current tv deal and the coming at 25 million less from 2010. Or how about the probablity that not having any funds to make something happen on the mercato this summer makes getting back into CL (the only real possibility for the auto-financing to work) a minor miracle.

Unfortunately I doubt prayers to Our Lady of the Low Profile will do much good.