Napoli have responded to the mayor of Naples, accusing him of trying to deflect from “countless administrative disasters” in the stadium controversy.
The club and the city are in open war over the Stadio San Paolo, with mayor Luigi De Magistris declaring that President Aurelio De Laurentiis has never put a Euro into the stadium.
The Partenopei have responded by withdrawing tickets for local officials, and will rent the arena on a week-by-week basis this season.
“There is only one person who leads ‘repeated and offensive attacks on the city and Neapolitans’,” a statement from the club begins.
“Unfortunately that’s the mayor who, instead of trying to remedy the countless administrative disasters of his tenure, finds the time to argue with the President of Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli, finding time to wink to the so-called Curva B, which is engaged in delusional messages from some opaque fringe group, which the club distances itself from and which certainly does not represent the many good and correct fans who pack the stadium – including said Curva – to support the team.
“The mayor of Naples is engaging in a tried and tested technique: hiding the defaults, delays and omissions attributable to his mishandling, including on the subject of the stadium.
“It’s an attempt to shift focus and stir up criticism of the club and its President, creating forced and artificial divisions that certainly do not include, among the objectives, the good of the team and its success.
“The President of Napoli – and this is clear to anyone except those in bad faith – has not attacked the city and Neapolitans, despite what the first citizen may say.
“After all, why would he? The President, as is his right and indeed duty to protect the club, the city and the Napoli fans, has repeatedly criticised bad administrative handling, especially when it comes to the stadium which is in a state of humiliating degradation, creating huge damage to the image of the club and the city.
“When it’s necessary to host prestigious European teams accustomed to stadiums of absolute excellence, it’s inevitable to feel a sense of profound shame about the condition of the municipal stadium.
“Only the intervention of the regional council and its President De Luca made it possible to replace, per UEFA regulations, the seats of the San Paolo, something that not only has the city not done, but instead in a ridiculous show of exaltation has prevented football being played there in favour of a larger restructuring of the stadium.
“As for the rest, it’s still not clear what work will be done, in what time, and with what money; which prevents the club from even from planning the sale of season tickets.
“It is equally clear to everyone – except those who reduce politics to small squabbles and inconclusive self-celebration – the result of the work done by President De Laurentiis in the city.
“What Napoli do generates national and international interest, creates jobs, boosts the economy and sows the healthy principles of sport in new generations.
“This populist drive by the mayor and his sports commissioner, which reached the point of pointing to the goal of achieving profit, is a stain of which they should be ashamed and ignores two things.
“The first is that profitability is required by law and the stringent regulations governing football today.
“The second is that all profit made, down to the last penny, was reinvested to strengthen the club.
“That confirms what the President thinks of the city of Naples, the Neapolitan people and ‘real’ fans.
“In short the words, which the mayor is free to utter, are cloying, inconclusive, useless. The last, we hope, as we hope for the start of lucidity and dignity. For the good of Napoli and Naples which, always in words, he claims to love.”
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Football Italia staff