Napoli wrote an official response to Barry Glendenning and The Guardian condemning “dated, dumb, vulgar cliche” in an article referencing the mafia.
This morning he wrote a transfer round-up in the English newspaper referring to a rumour Napoli are interested in signing Manchester United man Danny Welbeck.
“Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon has let Welbeck's agent know that Napoli are interested in signing up his client, but with Everton and Tottenham also interested, the club from one of Italy’s mafia strongholds will need to make Manchester United and Welbeck himself an offer they can’t refuse.”
This afternoon the response arrived from the official Napoli website and director of communication Nicola Lombardo, an open letter to The Guardian.
“Dear Mr Prior,
“I am aware that it can happen that an article is not read carefully before being published. It is possible that as the editor of the Guardian's sports pages you may not have realised what was written. If not, we would be dismayed to read such a dated, dumb, vulgar cliche as this, linking the city of Naples to the mafia.
“This is an archaic impression that is also rejected by English tourists who every year choose Italy - and Napoli - as their holiday destination.
“They would not do that if they thought that Naples is Italy's mafia stronghold, a place where people fire at or rob each other in the street.
“We would not judge a city like Newcastle on the basis of MTV's Geordie Shore; we do not think all of that city's inhabitants are rude, gym-addicted and sociopathic. It is a shame to see the Guardian did not afford Napoli the same courtesy.
“I would still prefer to think that you had not read the article, and in this case, I would ask for a correction, in the name of both Neapolitans and Italians.
A group of fans had already announced they were planning legal action against The Guardian for "offensive" statements.