ADL on Super League ‘error’ and TV trouble

Aurelio De Laurentiis

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis angrily ranted against TV rights contracts and the Super League project. ‘I always told Andrea Agnelli he was getting this wrong.’

The patron was speaking at the Passepartout Festival and discussed the recent failed attempt to create a breakaway league, a plan Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona are still pushing.

“The Super League comes from the fact institutions try to build on our money and our investment. What interest does Real Madrid, Juve or Napoli have in playing the Champions League and going into debt in order to make €70-80-90-100m more when we spent €200-300m to get there? It doesn’t work.

“I am part of the ECA (European Club Association) and I always told Agnelli he was getting it wrong with the Super League, because they wanted to become the principle actors of the system, but instead they should’ve democratically left the door open to everyone.

“We do need to create another competition and take it away from UEFA, keeping UEFA as some sort of secretary general. We clubs would then give UEFA a percentage of the revenue rather than have them pay us.

“Agnelli, Perez and the others made the mistake of not declaring football has failed due to the institutions. They keep promising change and it never happens. It’s always, we’ll think about it, let’s see what happens. Football should be developing continually.”

The Napoli President was also asked about his difficult rapport with journalists.

“It’s not that I hate journalists. My press conferences are animated because they ask idiotic questions,” insisted ADL.

“It’s not that I don’t want to hear their comments, they are simply banal. It sounds like they are all copied and pasted from each other, can nobody think of something new?”

De Laurentiis also turned his ire towards the growing impact of television rights and the coverage these companies demand in return.

“Can you imagine these players in the locker room concentrating before a game, there’s Kostas Manolas praying and kissing his little religious relics, another has his hands towards the sky in prayer, there’s someone with a ball hanging out, a willy on the right, they arrive with their TV cameras and say they have a contract with Sky or whoever? We’re idiots, then.

“When I say football doesn’t work, it’s because we are old-fashioned. Unfortunately, when Sky started in Italy, it was a great television station, very Anglo-Saxon in style. Now you see even RAI or Mediaset are better, because they learned from that model and improved.”