In a shock turnaround, Edy Reja announced “I'm staying at Lazio - now and in the future!” The Coach had tended his resignation on Wednesday.
The chaos at the Formello training ground seems to have taken a surprise twist, as after days of controversy and negotiations with both Gigi De Canio and Gianfranco Zola, the club has taken a step back.
The media was called into a press conference at an unnamed time with an unnamed member of staff, which many expected to be President Claudio Lotito to present a new Coach.
“It’s not an issue of contracts, but of faith,” said Reja as he stepped into the press room at 19.20 UK time.
“I had a few moments of suffering, but the President showed affection for me. Recently this rapport had been damaged, but we cleared the air and therefore my adventure here continues.
“I care about this team, this club and these colours. It didn’t feel right to end my time at this club by walking away like this. President Lotito rejected my offer of resignation, we said what we had to say, clarified certain positions and for this year the adventure continues.
“According to what the President tells me, it will continue in the future too. Lotito said it to the squad in the locker room: ‘This is the Coach for now and for the future.’”
Reja did not disguise that the Biancocelesti had been in negotiations for a replacement over the last few days.
“Of course when I resigned it was logical that the club look round. I am not a child and I respect my commitment. I was constantly in my place doing my job even after tending my resignation.”
There were strong reports that Reja’s problem was not so much with the President as director of sport Igli Tare.
“I never asked for Tare to be removed. Maybe there was an exchange of opinions and a bit of anger, but that is part of the rapport between a Coach and director of sport. These incidents help you to mature and admit there was a mistake. It takes humility to admit you got it wrong sometimes.
“Why did I resign? There was a difference of opinion that I won’t be listing here. I tried to do the best I possibly could and I think in terms of results we achieved something extraordinary.
“We’ll try to maintain this level, knowing it’s difficult when there are such competitive opponents. The important thing now is to get our injured players back so we can make certain choices and get some breathing space.”