Napoli Boss Threatens Move To England If Stadium Renovations Not Approved
Serie A side Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has "threatened to uproot the club and move to England" if his plans to purchase and redevelop the Stadio San Paolo are not approved, according to Ben Gladwell of ESPN. The San Paolo is currently owned by the Napoli city council and rented to Napoli. The last major renovation work was carried out ahead of the 1990 World Cup. Since then, "there has been a severe lack of investment, and the arena is showing increasing signs of age." De Laurentiis "wants to buy the property and redevelop it from top to bottom, but his plans have yet to receive approval from the council." If they do not approve, he "has threatened to take all of the club's assets away and start afresh -- in England." De Laurentiis: "I'm sick of it. I'm a simple person who talks and tries to understand, but if on the other side, there are people who don't listen, then I will take that on board and leave. If I do leave Napoli, then you can play in the third division and keep your mayor. Maybe he can even play for you, together with his councillors." Napoli Mayor Luigi De Magistris said that an agreement "is just awaiting two signatures -- his and that of the Napoli president." De Magistris: "We need to stop talking about the future of the Stadio San Paolo and just sign the paperwork" (ESPN, 4/1).