Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has threatened to move the Serie A giant outside the city unless Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris specifies this week how much the city wants for the council-owned San Paolo Stadium.
De Laurentiis is keen to develop a new stadium on the site of the San Paolo, which first opened in 1959 and underwent extensive redevelopment to its current 60,000 capacity for Italy’s staging of the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The film mogul has said that unless De Magistris names a price by Tuesday he will make arrangements to build a new stadium 45 kilometres away in Caserta.
“I am very worried because the mayor said that he would sell me the San Paolo, but I do not think that with the biblical times with which the politicians handle things they will be able to tell me how much they want for it by Tuesday,” De Laurentiis told the Kiss Kiss radio station. “They will say that it will not be possible because of the city council and all sorts of other things. At that point I go to the mayor of Caserta, find an agreement with him, and from January 2 I will begin the construction of a new stadium away from the city, because they are serious. If De Magistris says he has no powers to do this one thing, then he should resign.”
Napoli currently sits second in Serie A and the Corriere Della Sera newspaper also reported that De Laurentiis claimed he would leave Italy for the United States if he does not receive the necessary reassurances from the city council. He added: “I’ve invested my own money in Napoli and I want to do serious things. If I have to stay in Naples I don’t want to hear any more ‘Italian’ talk. Los Angeles is ready for me, it’s my second home. I’ll go there and you can get on with it yourselves in Naples and they’ll all be happy and contented.”