Thursday July 3 2014
ADL: Calcio is not working

Aurelio De Laurentiis has called on Italian football to protect clubs from financial ruin and to remove limitations on non-EU players.

The Napoli President has considered the state of Serie A and calcio amid the continued debate over the Italian national team’s early exit from the 2014 World Cup.

“It was impossible to think that in the presence of such a situation like that, we could go further,” De Laurentiis has told the Corriere dello Sport today.

“Football in Italy is not working and I am not supporting this, but they say that among the budgets [at clubs], 70 per cent are close to bankruptcy.

“The moment has come where it is imperative to create conditions for clubs, to allow them to live and prosper and not to walk towards the abyss.

“It must affect things in a profound way, because in Serie A, sometimes also in B and C, there are considerable costs. We need an authoritative policy, that is able to modify this trend.

“Looking back, what I was not convinced about and am still not convinced about is the outdated mentality and unproductive institutions of football.

“The past records do not count. The ideas, yes. It is imperative to remain young at heart, to be able to look to the future.

“Who is voted as FIGC President cannot be contaminated and culturally conditioned only by the past. Unfortunately in Italian football, there is a heavy dose of provincialism that prevents the system from embarking on distant objectives.”

De Laurentiis considered the continued push to develop stronger academies at clubs.

“We have always believed in this and continue to do so, that Italian academies can solve the problems.

“But this is partly true and partly false, as shown by the World Cup, as emphasised by Belgium’s ability to shine.

“They export their talent, yes, but they also have no limits for the importation of foreigners.”

The movie mogul was asked what he would introduce to the Italian game to change things.

“The ability to use non-EU players without constraints, with no limits. Why should the Federation be able to decide the policy of the club?

“An entrepreneur must combine factors of production in total freedom and without trappings placed anachronistically and independently by the institutions.

“A Federation must not prohibit, but look to build and if they do, will there be only one Buffon, only one Chiellini, only one Immobile, only one Insigne?

“You have to give everyone the chance to go abroad and buy outside of the EU, as already happens in other European counties such as Belgium, Portugal and so on, to encourage competition through the expertise of those responsible for buying and hearing the needs of their Coach.

“In this way we would increase the level of our football and with it the level of the Italian players in the team and this would also benefit the national team.”

De Laurentiis considered his rise with Napoli over the past decade.

“I had to build from scratch a new club and I had to deal with particular situations, with tension transmitted in trying to get back to Serie A whilst instead we still faced the difficulties and complexities of C and B.

“And then we returned to among the greats, to compete at the highest levels first in Italy and then in Europe.

“But, we have done this as Napoli and I feel the satisfaction of having taken steps, in our own small way, towards a turning points - Financial Fair Play was not the only move to show that there are alternative ways to go.”