Sunday August 17 2014
In defence of De Laurentiis

Some fans are critical of owner Aurelio De Laurentiis’ lack of spending, but Dave Taylor believes the Napoli patron knows what he’s doing.  

“With or without you our passion will never end,” was the message on a massive banner from Napoli fans directed at Aurelio De Laurentiis during the recent friendly with Paris Saint-Germain. Factor in the chants and the messages on various fans’ forums inviting the club owner to spend money this summer and it’s obvious some tifosi are seriously unhappy with the lack of market activity so far.

Not that ADL seems preoccupied, as his statement seemed to prove: “Without the frenzy of market this year I feel a lot more confident and happy.”

In reality he has never been afraid to put his hand in his pocket since he took over a decade ago. However, that is no balm to the fans this summer and they have seen none of the exciting arrivals of last year. If he means what he says about wanting a Scudetto, many feel he really needs to make at least another big investment to plug the gaping hole in midfield.

At the start of the summer they really needed at least three high-grade players. Yet so far only young defender Kalidou Koulibaly and deputy striker-attacking midfielder Michu have arrived. Good enough players with the former in particular hot in pre-season, but hardly the names to get the blood pumping.

The pivotal midfielder that is urgently needed has seen literally dozens of names - some great, some average and some downright ridiculous - linked with the Partenopei. Yet out of all these no-one has yet been signed and even Coach Rafa Benitez seems frustrated.

When asked if he was satisfied with the way the market has gone the Spaniard diplomatically shrugged his shoulders replying with a metaphorical: “I can only coach those at my disposal.” Not quite as direct as the fans, but reading between the lines the Spaniard is seemingly not overly enamoured by the lack of activity in the market.

The trouble is figuring out whether or not it makes sense to push the boat out and spend like last summer. You have to ask if it is not better to rely on a squad that is strong, competitive and that has become a compact group over the last year. Perhaps with too much transfer work, the close relationships that have developed could be disturbed. At the moment it is a group of players who know each other and because of that togetherness they won the Italian Cup, finished third and are in the Play-off round of the Champions League. Saying that, passing into the group stage this year or not is likely to have been a factor in ADL’s thoughts.

Perhaps he is thinking that too much of an outlay could cause monetary ruin in a few years’ time - you only have to look at Inter, post-Jose Mourinho for that. According to Italian sports finance site Calcio and Finanza, Napoli are the most financially sound club in Italy at the moment, so why risk upsetting the applecart?

Should the Partenopei do something without worrying about any negative consequences? Should they forget about fiscal accountability, as if to say - if we do this we can win the title?

Of course De Laurentiis would have looked at all the consequences and it’s a delicate balance.  If he was to splash out and spend beyond his and the club’s means he would not only risk financial malady but also penalties through UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, something ADL’s careful husbandry has so far avoided.

As the club’s income has risen in recent years, it is also important to note that so too have the outgoings - wages and transfer fees - whilst the President has never gambled too heavily. So far Napoli have done nothing but progress and stand today as regular European entrants and a top three Serie A club.

Perhaps behind De Laurentiis’ reluctance to spend is the awareness that a massive outlay this summer could create real problems in the future if financial returns don’t match up to those outgoings. Surely fans wouldn’t want that, even if the title was snatched away from Juventus for a perhaps a season or two. Or would they?

Have your say...
soon you will be sorry that pandev is leaving. he was never appreciated as he should have been. you will never have such a grateful player.If he was from England or Brazil it would have been another story. But still much luck to napoli and the napoli supporters in fututure

on the 27th August, 2014 at 2:03pm
Napoli went from a mid table club to top 5. The tifosi should be content so far.
on the 18th August, 2014 at 3:28pm
Bring in afew more foreigners there aren't enough in italy already!!!!
on the 18th August, 2014 at 2:04pm
ADL is a shrewd man, he never actually spent great deal of cash on the market - any time the pulcinellas spent big it was when they were guaranteed of CL participation or sold their players for big money like for Cavani and Lavezzi.
on the 18th August, 2014 at 1:14pm
If there has ever been an owner of a club you can trust it has to be Aurelio. I think this man is a absolute genius the way he runs our club. To take us out of a mess & be were we are today we owe him big time. Power to the Southern clubs!
on the 18th August, 2014 at 10:34am
I can understand the frustration. Roma has strengthened the depth of their team while Napoli havent. got koulibaly but lost fernandez. michu comes in but will lose pandev (i dont rate pandev but still). Napoli lost steam midway through last season when they couldnt keep players fresh and also not having able back-up. (Roma did well since they did not have euro commitments which this season will show if they can replicate last season). Just need to beat bilbao so $$ can be assured.
on the 18th August, 2014 at 12:34am
keep calm Napoli tifosi, de Guzman & Fellaini are surely coming..
De Guzman on a permanent contract of just 2m euros & Fellaini on loan + option seems to be shrewd deals..
to top that, Pandev finally seems to be leaving lol
these are good times for Napolitanos
on the 17th August, 2014 at 6:01pm
They will probably buy somebody if they reach the CL group stages.

But hopefully not Fellaini, that would be insanity.
on the 17th August, 2014 at 3:58pm
A good nose for a player in this game is very important and the purchases this year - jorginho/ghoulam/michu/koulibaly are all excellent. Another 2 is ideal. Guzman is VGchoice. Young, 2 mill year wage, flexible, technically strong and WANTS to play for Napoli instead of other teams. If they keep finding that 'type' Napoli are going to be strong without breaking any bank. Rafa Benitez is the gold link. With some consistency/regular time together Napoli are doing very well.
on the 17th August, 2014 at 2:52pm

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