Saturday September 17 2011
De Laurentiis wants 16-team Serie A

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has revolutionary ideas. “I'd make Serie A 16 teams without relegation and form a European League.”

The Hollywood mogul took ownership of the club when it was bankrupt and in Serie C, taking them all the way to the Champions League.

“We have told the FIGC thousands of times that we can't keep going like this. Why don't we reduce Serie A to 18 and then become 16?” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“Even the fact there are relegations is madness, in my view. I'd make Serie A 16 teams, trying out a system where nobody gets relegated, but rather they pay penalties."

It would not be an entirely new situation, as Serie A had 16 teams from 1934-43 and 1967-88. The League only expanded to 20 teams in 2004.

“Then I'd form a European Super League with 40 clubs, including the top eight from Spain, Germany, Italy, England and France.

“I'd abolish the Europa League, which brings no money or interest. I'd also abolish the Champions League, as it is run by UEFA and provides only a tenth of the income we'd have with this genuine European Super League.”

De Laurentiis also took time to comment on the troubles of Inter Coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who had been the hot favourite to replace Walter Mazzarri during a contract dispute this summer.

“I am fond of Gasperini. He's a great Coach and has his own style of football. I considered him because Napoli already had a three-man defence.

“I knew full well that if I'd stopped working with Mazzarri and started with Gasperini, I'd wait to judge until the second year, not the second game.”

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