'Resuming the season would be pure madness' - Cellino vows to pull Brescia out of Serie A games

Massimo Cellino
Getty Images
The former Leeds owner thinks playing the rest of the season would be disrespectful to the dead and a logistical minefield

Resuming the Serie A season would be “pure madness” according to Brescia owner Massimo Cellino, who has threatened to pull his side out of proceedings if Italian football does get back underway.

Italy has been hit incredibly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 13,000 deaths reported in the country.

Discussions are ongoing as to whether the 2019-20 football season will return, but former Leeds owner Cellino doesn’t believe it should.

“This season no longer makes sense,” Cellino told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We stopped, no team will return as before, the stadiums will be behind closed doors, plus there is a risk for the health of the players.

“For me, returning to playing the games is pure madness.

“If it happens, they are forcing me to be prepared to not send the team out and to lose every game 3-0 out of respect for the citizens of Brescia and their loved ones who are no longer there."

Cellino took fire at UEFA, who on Wednesday confirmed a number of cancellations and postponements including all international friendlies which had been scheduled for June.

“It can’t be avoided: the season ends on the June 30 deadline for the presentation of club budgets and player contracts,” he said. “They are arrogant and irresponsible: they only think about their economic interests and the cups.

“But, for the Italian championship, UEFA decides that, to resume, it must end by June?

“Are we going to play every other day? Or does UEFA also have the power to stretch their days and make them 72 hours long?

“If you want to do something with UEFA's profits, send oxygen cylinders and respirators to Brescia. We would be grateful.

"I speak for Brescia. Here we have the trucks that transport the dead. We are at the centre of the epidemic.

“In any case, the players would come from 45 days of total inactivity, it would take a month of training just to get them back in shape. Otherwise they risk everyone getting injured.”

Cellino has come under fire from Lazio chairman Claudio Lotito, who suggested he wanted the season cancelled because Brescia were bottom of the table.

"Lotito yelled at me the other day: 'You don't want to play to save yourself'. He makes fire and flames because he thinks he will win the championship.

Article continues below

“I don't care about going down: so far we have deserved it.

“I speak generally. To end in June would be impossible, and to prolong the season it is necessary to change all national and international rules: player contracts, budgets, deadlines with banks, transfer market, preparation, the start of the new season.

“It would be absolute chaos.”

Close