Excluded Totti resigns as Roma director
Roma legend Francesco Totti, who joined the capital club as a 12-year-old before retiring in 2017, announced on Monday he was resigning as director.
“At 12:41pm on June 17, 2019, I sent an email… which was for me unimaginable: I handed in my resignation,” Totti told the Roma website.
“I never thought that this moment would come.”The 42-year-old World Cup winner said his resignation was driven by his lack of inclusion in important decision-making within the club, something he blamed on Roma’s American owner James Pallotta.
“I was a weight for the club, I was told I was too cumbersome, both as a player and a leader,” said an emotional Totti.
“Now I’m leaving and it hurts.”
The three-time Serie A winners said they had offered a new role to Totti.
“The club is extremely disappointed to learn that Francesco Totti has announced that he has decided to leave the club and not take up the position of Technical Director of AS Roma,” a statement said.
“While we understand how hard it must be for him to take this decision to leave AS Roma after 30 years, we believe that his perception of the facts and decisions made at the club are both fanciful and far from reality,” it added.
Totti, who spent his entire professional career at Roma, added: “There are many things that made me think, they never let me take part. They only called me when they were in difficulty.
“In two years I’ve taken part in about 10 meetings.”
The former club captain, capped 58 times by Italy, insisted it was a “goodbye, not a farewell”, without giving further details.
“I can say that it is impossible for Totti to stay outside of Roma,” he said.
“Now I’ll take a different path, but the moment another owner really wants to count on me, I’ll be ready.”
After making his senior Roma debut aged 16 in 1993, Totti went on to score 307 goals in 785 games, winning Serie A in 2001 and the Coppa Italia twice.
His departure follows that of former teammate Daniele de Rossi, the side’s hierarchy deciding not to renew the midfielder’s contract after 18 years at the club.
The Stadio Olimpico outfit also denied reports of a potential return for Totti with a potential attempted purchase.
“Regarding the repeated references to a possible comeback with a new ownership, combined with information about interested parties collected by him around the world, we hope that this was not meant to be an inappropriate anticipation of a takeover attempt of the club, a scenario that would be very sensitive as AS Roma is a listed company,” a statement said.
“The club’s investor group have absolutely no intention of putting AS Roma up for sale, now or in the future,” it added.
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