ROME – Francesco Totti quit as director of Roma on Monday and held a press conference to criticize the Serie A club’s owners.
Totti, who had held the role since 2017, played for the club for his entire career.
The Roma legend, who played 786 matches over the course of 25 years, explained for over an hour the reasons why he took what he called a “painful” decision.
“I resign as a Roma director. Taking the circumstances into consideration, I think it is necessary and correct,” he said.
“I have never had the chance to work effectively in the sporting area with Roma.”
He added that his goal was to contribute on a technical level by choosing the club’s sporting project.
“We all know that I was forced to stop playing,” he added.
“I joined the board with a lot of humility because for me it was a new thing.
“I was promised a lot of things, but none was kept.
“Then time ticks away I thought and I understood that I did not want to continue to be at the disposal of people who have never wanted me in this role.”
He explicitly criticized the United States company that owns Roma, led by James Pallotta, who he said “has a permanent idea of taking Roma away from the Romanians and eventually he succeeded.”
“Since the American ownership has come in (in 2011) it tried every way to push us aside. They have wanted and in the end, they succeeded,” he added.
Totti said he was not happy with the fact that the board waited until the last minute to notify player Daniele De Rossi of its decision not to extend his contract.
“In September I told some of the directors that if they were thinking not to renew De Rossi’s contract, you have to tell him already,” he said.
“Because he was the captain and he should be respected. In the end, (a) long time passed.
“I talked with De Rossi privately, as a friend. I tried to make him understand what would happen, although I was one of the board (members).”
He continued: “However the same problem happened to me. I think it is something that (the owners) did on purpose.”
Totti stressed his affection for the club, adding that he would rather “die” before living another day like this one.
He vowed that he would “never” come back to Roma while it is owned by the American company.