Lazio fans will abandon the stadium today in protest, but Claudio Lotito insists “I won’t sell dreams. I have to tell the truth.”
Supporters have pledged not to show up at the Stadio Olimpico this afternoon, where only 2,000 tickets have been sold for the game against Atalanta. Click here for a match preview.
“Sensible criticism is always accepted, but the rest is just bar talk,” snapped President Lotito on Radio Deejay.
“When I took control of this club, Lazio were €550m in debt. I said that in three years I’d have the club in a position to begin again and I think the facts have proved me right.”
Ultras have been protesting for several weeks, claiming Lotito does not invest sufficiently and is too unambitious, especially after selling Hernanes to Inter in January.
“I am a President first and a fan second, not vice versa. I won’t sell dreams, only solid reality. I don’t lie to people, so I have to tell the truth and that means working within the limitations of the club.
“Financial Fair Play will spread on a national level too and at that point there’s no emirate who can bail out the coffers. I made many mistakes, one of which was perhaps not to take people for a ride.”
Lotito also denied his own Coach Edy Reja’s claim that several players turned down a move to Lazio in January.
“Everyone wants to come to Lazio, so these are unfounded rumours. Fabio Quagliarella had reached an agreement with us in the summer, then Juventus decided to keep him. In January he simply didn’t want to leave, it’s not that he turned us down specifically. It is an understandable decision, as his team is heading towards the Scudetto.
“I do not want to sell the club, as I intend to leave it to my son to give a sense of consistency. We will never have financial problems, as this club is a reference point for the innovation of Italian football.
“I will accept a confrontation with the fans, but only as long as they are the ones prepared to listen and not spread gossip in place of facts.”