Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis takes full responsibility for Napoli’s poor results this season and promises new signings in January, but blames FIGC President Gabriele Graviana and referee designator Gianluca Rocchi.

Napoli were held to a 0-0 draw by Monza at the Stadio Maradona on Friday in the last game of the year. It means the Partenopei are five points below fourth-placed Fiorentina. No need to say ADL and Napoli fans expected more from a team that dominated Serie A in 2022-23 winning the first Scudetto in 33 years.

De Laurentiis surprisingly showed up for a post-match press conference taking all responsibility for Napoli’s poor results this term.

“I hope 2024 brings health and makes you fulfil your dreams,” he said.

“I wanted to see you and say that everything that happened until today is just my responsibility. So, all the blame is on me and I take all the responsibility. I must apologise to all Nepeolitans and most importantly to all the fans for our position in the table.

“However, the season is long and we’ll move on the market to make up for what has happened,” ADL continued.

“The truth has more faces, but I don’t want to annoy you now. When I’m back from the Supercoppa, we could meet at Palazzo Petrucci, have a nice dinner together and I’ll tell you my point of view.

“I understand you have pages to fill up, radio stations and TVs with great pundits where everyone says his opinion. However, fans must be protected and know the truth, and only those inside know it. This is what I wanted to tell you.”

ADL didn’t seem as friendly in the second part of the press conference.

“Then, I beg Gravina and Rocchi to try to give Italian football a sense of equity and entertainment. I read that Serie A has become less important. It is true if we watch rugby games rather than football games, where the play is stopped continuously and where there is no equity in giving [yellow and red] cards to the teams.

“I am not saying our players should not get yellow or red cards when they deserve them. I don’t want to talk about refereeing decisions against Napoli this season. Other teams have been affected, too.”

Monza were given a penalty kick but Matteo Pessina missed it while both coaches, Walter Mazzarri and Raffaele Palladino were sent off for dissent in the second half.

“Dear Rocchi, you can’t allow a referee to send off two gentlemen like Palladino or Mazzarri because this is not football,” argued ADL.

“This was made to prove his strength, but being a referee means having a sense of equity. If, by running too much, they [refrees] lose focus, maybe they must also be substituted.

“Again, happy new year to you all, see you on January 24 or 25, thank you.”

ADL left the press room without answering questions from reporters. The next game for Napoli is away at Torino on January 7, 2024.

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