Napoli to remain at San Paolo
Napoli's future will be at their Stadio San Paolo after productive talks were held with the city council.
Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis had threatened to uproot his club to nearby Caserta, building a brand new stadium there if the city of Naples continued to block his plans to renovate the San Paolo. But he emerged from a meeting with the Mayor of Naples, Luigi De Magistris, optimistic his plans will be ratified.
"It was a positive meeting with De Magistris," De Laurentiis wrote on his Twitter account. "We're going to work together with a bilateral commission to fulfil the San Paolo of the future."
As he emerged from the meeting, he told awaiting reporters: "We want to get the best out of the San Paolo. The San Paolo will remain the home of Napoli and I would like it to become the club's own property, but the important aspect is that we're working in the interests of the city."
The stadium, like most others throughout Italy, belongs to the city and is rented out to Napoli. With maintenance bills rising as the venue shows signs of decay, the Serie A club would like to purchase the arena outright and make an investment to modernise it, something for which the city simply does not have the funds.
Even in its current state, the San Paolo remains an intimidating venue, as Borussia Dortmund discovered to their expense in the Champions League, and De Laurentiis believes Arsenal will find out the same thing when they arrive in December.
"I'm looking forward to the return leg of this game," De Laurentiis said with reference to his side's 2-0 defeat to the Gunners in London on Tuesday. "This really is an exciting group and reserves as many surprises as a game of poker."
The film producer also revealed his latest spectacular plan, one which he says would have been too expensive to realise. Napoli's top-of-the-table clash with Roma following the international break has been pencilled in for an 18:00 kick-off on Saturday October. However, with a major protest planned in the Italian capital that day, the police authorities have requested the game be put back to another date.
"I don't think we could play on Friday because there would be no time for the national team players to return so I proposed we play it at midnight on Saturday," said De Laurentiis. "That would make it a great event, but it would have cost €200,000. It's a shame. It would have been a beautiful ‘midnight in Rome'."