Qatar investment vehicle rumoured to be looking at AS Roma buy

April 11 – Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), the owners of French club Paris Saint-Germain, is rumoured to be in discussion over a potential acquisition of Italian club AS Roma to build a portfolio of European top clubs.

In 2011 QSI, a subsidiary of the state-owned wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, acquired PSG and ever since has invested substantially to transform PSG into France’s leading club. However, on the European stage, the Parisians have always fallen short. This season they were eliminated in dramatic fashion by Manchester United and a controversial late penalty in the round of sixteen of the Champions League.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and French sports daily claim that QSI’s representatives and other advisors to PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi are considering buying AS Roma and have tabled a €450 million bid.

AS Roma already has ties with Qatar via a €40 million sponsorship with Qatar Airways last year, a deal which runs until 2021. The airline has opened up a route to Rome.

However, AS Roma owner James Pallotta (pictured) has denied that any offer has been made.

European body UEFA has strict rules about clubs owned by the same group and their participation in the continental competitions, though on occasions the rules would appear to have loopholes.

Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig have both qualified for the Europa League and on the face of it looked to have the same ownership, but UEFA found no rules were in breach as both clubs technically are owned by different entities.

AS Roma have won the Serie A on three occasions, their last triumph dating back to the 2000/2001 season. They recently hired the services of Claudio Ranieri in a bid to secure a Champions League ticket for next season.

France’s Le Parisien also reports that QSI has identified takeover targets in the Championship, the second tier of football in England.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1563601715labto1563601715ofdlr1563601715owedi1563601715sni@o1563601715fni1563601715