Outspoken Serie A president working on buying English club

Date published: Tuesday 20th November 2018 2:38 - Matthew Briggs

Outspoken Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed he is trying to buy a club in England.

The former film director has already bought Serie D side Bari, but he says he is looking to purchase a club in England and his efforts are “in progress” after hitting hurdles over the renovation of Napoli’s San Paolo stadium.

He has been critical of their historic home, which he claims costs €1.8m a year in rent, once branding it a “toilet”.

The 60,000-capacity stadium is owned by the city, but De Laurentiis wants to buy it and renovate it. However, so far he has found the process a difficult one and has threatened to build a new ground elsewhere while suggesting he will move their European fixtures to Bari.

Now De Laurentiis, who said Liverpool should be kicked out of Europe, says he is in the process of looking at a club to buy in England

“I’m working on buying another club, probably in England,” said De Laurentiis, as cited by La Gazzetta dello Sport. “There is a project in progress.”

De Laurentiis feels he has hit a ceiling at Napoli with the stadium desperately in need of a revamp since it’s last renovation before the 1990 World Cup.

“The management of such a stadium is a huge problem,” De Laurentiis added. “The city has done no more than keep it afloat.

“When I discover that PSG pay €1 million a year to rent the Parc des Princes, I realise how far behind we are.

“With 47,000 seats, they produce revenue of €100m a year. Napoli don’t get beyond €17-18m because we can’t do anything inside the San Paolo – we can’t do any other activities.

“The city has done nothing for the San Paolo since 1990. Nobody has assumed the responsibility and we’ve found ourselves with a stadium which is not only ugly but is falling apart. It even rains inside.

“There are millions of screws that are never checked so why are the city council demanding €1.8m a year in rent?

“If it were up to me, I’d buy some land in two seconds and build a new stadium, but there’s a lot of considerations to make.

“All of the opportunities to do something in recent years have failed. Shopping centres are no longer working, as aren’t cinemas. I wouldn’t know how to make a stadium profitable seven days a week – maybe we’d have to offer karaoke.”


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