Tuesday April 8 2014
Cellino ‘didn’t share Lopez’s choices’

Massimo Cellino says he didn’t agree with Diego Lopez’s team selections, explains comparing Cagliari to a Fiat and updates on the club’s potential sale.

The club President acted at the weekend to remove Lopez as Coach and replace him with former assistant Ivo Pulga.

On from the club’s statement on the move describing it as ‘indispensable’ and rumours that Cellino disagreed over the selection of Andrea Cossu, he has offered his perspective on Lopez’s exit.

“I did not share in the choices Lopez made for a long time. This is pretty much an admission of guilt. I was wrong to entrust him with the team, it was a risky choice,” the club owner has told L’Unione Sarda today.

“He was no longer doing work dedicated to the interests of the whole of the club and the growth of the team.

“He no longer had the attitude of someone needing to mature, improve and question themselves. Too many injustices then. There was little loyalty in making his selections.”

Cellino was criticised by club captain Daniele Conti over the weekend for comparing Cagliari to a Fiat 500 and prospective new club Leeds United to a Ferrari.

The Miami-based entrepreneur faced fan protests around the defeat to Roma from fans looking for clarity on his intentions with the Sardinian club.

“I was ready to step aside for the good of Cagliari, I was almost sold to the Arabs. In the meantime, I envisaged an opportunity to buy Leeds.

“And since I cannot retire to fishing, I have tried to see where I can go in my professionalism.

“I gave the example of the Fiat 500, with the engine souped up, unable to compete in a race with Milan, Inter, Juve, with low resources and limited economic opportunities. Always at full speed though. For this reason, sooner or later it is forced to slow down.

“Now with Leeds I have the change to drive a bigger car in relation to its potential, a stadium with 35,000 fans and a downhill road. A challenge. To understand that I can go beyond the bounds of Cagliari and from Cagliari. But of course I did not want to disrespect anyone, if anything I am the one that has been questioned as a driver.

“Interest from an American consortium? I do not know them, I read that the mayor is meeting to talk about the stadium, but I have only met once an Italian representative.

“To tell the truth, for more than a month I have been considering nothing because at this time the only goal is to bring the boat to port and not put anything at risk.

“I gave my life to Cagliari and I am continuing to give it, otherwise I would not be back to stay close to the team and I would not have my responsibilities in changing the Coach.”

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