Nike Ordem V
Nike Ordem V

The Qatar Investment Authority is looking to expand its ownership in European football, this time with its eyes set on the Serie A.

According to Luciano Mondellini of Milano Finanza, managerial sources say the Persian Gulf country would be interested in acquiring a big Serie A club and is currently evaluating the situation for two historic sides that could change ownership for different reasons: Roma and Milan.

Roma currently has a sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways since last spring and now the scope is to look beyond this deal. Roma, which is 82% owned by U.S. entrepreneur James Pallotta through AS Roma Spv, is on the cusp of a managerial and technical revolution. This does not exclude the possibility that Pallotta, struggling with the bureaucratic delays that are complicating the construction of the new stadium, exits if presented with a concrete offer.

The emirate, which controls Paris Saint-Germain via the Qatar Investment Authority, would get its hands on a club in another European city and thus become an owner in two of the two most beautiful capitals of the old continent, Paris and Rome.

This operation above all would allow the Qatari institutions to enter the market from the front door as they did in Paris where they have significant real estate interests. This wouldn’t be the first time where the ownership of a football club goes beyond the sport itself.

However, politically the sponsorship agreement between Qatar Airways and Roma was not welcomed by the Vatican according to sources. The interest of a very rich Islamic country for the Eternal City (a symbol of Christianity) was not well perceived and would be even more problematic with further investment.

It is one of the reasons why the Qatari managers are also studying the Milan dossier. The rossonero club, led by the experienced ex-Arsenal manager Ivan Gazidis, has been owned by the Elliott Fund since 2018.

The fund is known for its opportunistic trading approach, which by its nature is not a final (long term) investor but one who buys low valued or at risk assets and then sells them for a profit later.

Once Milan’s finances are in order and the issue of the stadium is resolved, it is likely at that point Elliott can think of selling the club to the Qatari investors.