President Claudio Lotito won’t sell Lazio despite fan protests. “My objective is to win the Scudetto.”
Supporters have repeatedly staged walk-outs at the Stadio Olimpico and even held a protest march in the city streets, calling for new investors to ‘Free Lazio’ from his grip.
“The fans operate on a different plane, the emotional and passionate one that expects to always win,” Lotito told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“They create idols and scapegoats from one Sunday to the next. The President has to share the joy and pain of the fans, but must also maintain the clear head and calm to not get swept up by euphoria or depression.
“Lazio are a club floated on the stock market with the same requirements as any other business. At times these norms force certain choices, sacrifices and changes that the fans do not understand. They just limit themselves to seeing the effects and protesting.”
Lotito is always eager to remind the ultras that Lazio were almost bankrupt when he took over after Sergio Cragnotti’s successful, but ultimately financially ruinous, reign.
“I dived into this gamble in 2004 because I loved this club. Besides, people can complain about the financial restraint of my tenure, but we have achieved some great sporting results too and more will come in future.
“My objective is to win the Scudetto, but without then bankrupting the club. Cragnotti is part of Lazio’s history, giving this club joy and pain. In two years they spent hundreds of millions of Euros to save Lazio, even if then the situation precipitated to near-bankruptcy.
“Selling Lazio is not in my plans, especially as my original project has not been finalised. My aspiration is to give the fans Lotito’s Scudetto.”
It seems unlikely when the ultras are holding up banners that read: ‘It’s either him or us.’
“The rapport between the fans and myself is not the best,” he confessed. “I don’t like being insulted or threatened for 90 minutes in the stadium, just as I don’t like to see the lads playing in this atmosphere.
“The fans don’t realise the consequences of this situation. If they want to change the rapport between us, then they have to respect the President of Lazio the way I respect them. They must realise Lazio need a guide and you can’t just put the club in the hands of someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing.
“I am prepared to listen to advice, but also defend Lazio from the attacks of those who think chaos is the way to take control of the club.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £11,000 to be won monthly!