Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis slams the city council over the state of the Stadio San Paolo - “it’s ever-increasingly a toilet”.
Renovation work is going on at the stadium over the close season, with the man responsible, Attilio Auricchio, assuring it will be ready for the first home game of the season on August 25.
Works appear to be behind schedule though, and that has infuriated the Partenopei owner, who has been vocal about his disdain for the old structure.
“I’m used to Auricchio’s lies,” De Laurentiis fumed on Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.
“He’s someone who is struggling to hold on to his job, he said a year ago he had €25m for the work, all the while knowing about the financial crisis and expecting to receive it from the credito sportivo.
“He’s someone who tells lies in the piazza. The credito sportivo, or indeed any bank, won’t finance a failure.
“I had to convince President [of the Campania region Vincenzo] De Luca, who I really admire, to put up the money that was missing.
“The commissioner has changed now, but the problem is that it’s Auricchio who will deliver the stadium - in what condition? In what disgusting state?
“Auricchio has to explain to me why, for eight years now, the San Paolo is ever-increasingly a toilet.
“The councillor for sport, who I like, can’t go against him and therefore is also forced to be a liar. They don’t have to tell lies, they’re irresponsible!
“If I’d been in that state of financial distress I’d have resigned.”
De Laurentiis was then asked if the club’s summer spending would cost more than he’d budgeted for.
“I can’t say true or false, I love Napoli so I keep the budget open all year. Despite the growth I lost €15m last year and I’ll lose more next year.
“When some idiot says: ‘you pocketed X amount from Jorginho, who don’t you spend it?’ they forget that we have spent more, but that goes on the balance sheet for the next three or four years.
“ADL finished second and played in the Champions League with [Walter] Mazzarri too, but we had salaries of €30m and now it’s €150m. It’s quintupled!
“I can’t say that the turnover has increased fivefold…
“Another thing I don’t like: only those who go to the stadium can complain or judge. I thank them, but there are 55,000 of them at the most. We have 40 million fans and they have responsibilities too.”