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Thursday August 3 2017
Fiorentina fire sale must stop

As player after player seeks pastures new, Jack Stevens wonders if Fiorentina are committing PR suicide. 

As Fiorentina’s one-way door remains open, so does the purging of talent from a side which were so nearly on the brink. Fiorentina’s transfer strategy has been nothing short of disastrous for fans, and the mass exodus has driven morale to a crushing low. But why has this high turnover had such an effect on fans, and why has it happened in the first place?

The current number of first team players who have left Fiorentina this summer lies at seven, and it is expected to rise with the likely departures of first choice striker Nikola Kalinic and long-time want-away Milan Badelj. The number of departures is not as worrying as the level of players that have been lost, and they will inevitably struggle to replace.

Paulo Sousa’s tenure was many things, but during his stint there remained a very solid, exciting core of players. Be it Federico Bernardeschi’s star promise or Matias Vecino’s dependability, there was a quality of player which gave fans hope of a Champions League push. Both have since left for Juventus and Inter respectively, and such moves begin to question the level of club Fiorentina want to be going forward.

This inability to keep hold of their most important players and provide them with a club-wide ambition is damning for the club’s management. Fiorentina have undeniably failed to sell any kind of hopeful vision to their stars, and with the lure of riches and well thought-out progress elsewhere, they have understandably jumped ship.

However, there lies a deeper, darker twist to the summer. The losses of both Borja Valero and Gonzalo Rodriguez indicate colossal negligence by the Fiorentina board. Borja Valero, a man who has only recently had the co-ordinates of Florence tattooed on his arm, was a man utterly infatuated with ‘his’ city. Such was his treatment by the board, he was forced out for little over €6m in what was a cold, calculated business decision.

For a club already struggling to hang on to its near non-existent relationship with fans, this was PR suicide. Florence loved Borja Valero, he was a classy operator with impeccable ball control, and the loyalty he had shown to the city was rare and special. His messy divorce from Fiorentina, in which he claimed he had been forced out, stuck like a knife through a fan base's heart.

The mass exodus nonetheless has pocketed the club a pretty penny, and fans are now uncontrollably anxious to see how the club reinvests. Jordan Veretout’s move from Aston Villa for around the €8m mark indicates a certain level of competence from the board, however there is a lot of work to be done, and should Fiorentina want to prevent any potential revolt from fans, they’d be wise to embrace a level of sentimentality going forward, and to rethink their strategy.

Football to fans is more than spreadsheets, and the sooner La Viola’s management embraces this notion, the sooner it will unite a club and a city.

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
@ PAOLO On another note,I for one DO NOT ADVOCATE ANY TEAM ON SELLING HALF THEIR SQUAD LET ALONE THEIR STARTING 11 FIRST SQUAD OR THEIR ENTIRE SQUAD IN GENERAL,But sometimes your hand is forced where you gotta make those decisions based on THE ECONOMICS OF THE FRANCHISE harsh or not its REALITY.SO TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION "YES" if Juve gotta sell their top players to balance the books or worst SAVE THE FRANCHISE,THATS A BIG "YES".MY comment was sympathetic to the VIOLA'S situation THATS ALL...
on the 7th August, 2017 at 6:54pm
@ PAOLO would it have been better if I didn't write that I was a Juve fan...WHO FRIGGIN CARES IF JUVENTUS HAS A DEBT OF 210 MILL their good for it and actually their NOT IN DEBT OF 210 MILL DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU GOT THOSE FIGURES.You clearly missed my point from what I've seen and read,Needless to say I just felt compelled to write my true thoughts on this as you can see on this feed pretty much it sums it up how everyone feels about whats going on with this club and in seria A."PAOLO" RELAX.
on the 7th August, 2017 at 2:38am
As they say, "if it's a cash cow, milk it!" The owners obviousy want to pocket as much money as possible before selling to mega-rich foreign buyers.

What a shame for Viola fans, as Serie A today is as open as it's been for years, and Italy just got another CL spot.
on the 4th August, 2017 at 5:12pm
jimmy_stallion has it right, they're liquidating everything and taking the cash. The club will look profitable in the short term because of all the sales. It's like the "strategy" used by hedge funds to make a quick profit from a company before selling their shares again.
on the 4th August, 2017 at 1:13pm
@calcioking it was reported that juve had 210 million worth of debt in dec 2016 by the wall street journal with that in mind would you advocate them selling half the team to cover this debt?

remember fiorentina a couple seasons ago reporting 0 debt levels and was making a annual profit. It is plain the owners just don't want to put any money into the club even the smallest of losses will be covered with player sales. the only upside is the valle brothers get stung when they sell.
on the 4th August, 2017 at 11:34am
GUT WRENCHING AS IT SOUNDS,Their may be a silver lining in this.Business wise their probably HOPEFULLY] trying to balance the books and revamp the squad with new arrivals and with a younger talented bunch OF PLAYERS from their youth academy and around the EUROPEAN SOCCER LEAGUE'S.I do hope they are to invest in their Italian core of players coming up and mostly and hopefully not to try to sell off the team but look at a partnership of some sort which shares the same values of this SQUAD.
on the 3rd August, 2017 at 10:13pm
Plain and simple[AND THIS IS FROM A JUVE FAN MYSELF]A complete disaster for Fiorentina and SERIA A.This PREPOSTEROUS FIRE SALE OF THEIR CORE GROUP IS BEYOND WORDS,WHAT ARE THEY THINKING,IMO The Della Valle family just wanna clear their assets and be done with this GREAT TEAM AND CITY plain and simple.MY WORRY is all Italian teams will follow the 2 Milan teams and Roma which sold to foreign ownership.I'm for GROWTH but with a SUSTAINABE partnership like 50/50 or 60/40 but always in your favour...
on the 3rd August, 2017 at 10:00pm
The fire sale is worrying. It is one thing to have to sell your best players, but for me the worrying aspect is the almost non-existent incoming strategy.

Bernadeschi, Vecino, Ilicic, Tatarusanu, Gonzalo and Valero have left. Sportiello and Saponara figure to get more playing time, with Chiesa the face of the team now.

Veretout and Eysseric may well also prove shrewd signings, but considering the income the fans have every right to be annoyed by the outlay. The quality has decreased visibly.
on the 3rd August, 2017 at 5:31pm
So sad what's going on, but yes, the focal point in all of this is that the Dellla Valle's want to sell the club and they don't care anymore to even reinvest... I hope a buyer from abroad comes soon, otherwise this can end in a cathastrophe.. like Serie B.
on the 3rd August, 2017 at 4:45pm
Literally one of the worst owners of the last 20 years. They get everything that comes to them. In the end , their fans suffer.
on the 3rd August, 2017 at 3:12pm
The trouble is that the Della Valle family no longer wants to own the club; they're actively trying to sell it. Though who will want to buy a club with no players left is a mystery to me.
on the 3rd August, 2017 at 2:50pm
They are selling the team and liquidating any assets they can get value on. The players do alright as they get opportunities with other clubs, but the fans suffer.
on the 3rd August, 2017 at 2:32pm
Forget repairing relations fiorentina needs new ownership the current guys at best where holding the club back at worst ripping it to pieces. Honestly what is the point of them if they aren't prepared to finance this team on a consistent basis it not like they have done anything spectacular doing their reign at fiorentina the best accomplishment was to stabilise the club and bring them back in to the top tier. Time for the valle brother to leave.
on the 3rd August, 2017 at 12:17pm
I really despise the current management strategy to push away older and loyal players. Borja and Gonzalo Rodriguez are the latest examples, but lets not forget the likes of Manuel Pasqual, Gamberini, Jorgensen, Dainelli etc.

I support La Viola since 90s but the way these guys were dealt with makes me want to reconsider my allegiance. How do they expect players to be loyal to the club after all this?
on the 3rd August, 2017 at 9:58am

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