Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis has blasted the Metropolitan Council of Naples over the lack of progress made regarding improvements to the club’s stadium, unfavourably comparing the ground to “a toilet”.
The Stadio San Paolo is currently undergoing renovation ahead of the Serie A side’s 2018/19 campaign, as well as before next year’s 2019 Summer Universiade, to be hosted in Naples.
But work on the venue is yet to meet the satisfaction of De Laurentiis, the president of the Partenopei, who has roundly criticised the local government’s handling of the project.
“If I were at the head of the council, we would have no financial problems,” the 69-year-old told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.
“I’m tired of saying that San Paolo is falling by the wayside and they’re not doing what they can to make it happen. Instead of improving it, the stadium looks more and more like a toilet.”
Much of De Laurentiis’ ire has been aimed at Attilio Auricchio, the man responsible for overseeing the redevelopment of the stadium who, according to the chairman, has squandered around the region of €25 million (£22m/$29m) throughout the process.
“I’m used to Auricchio’s lies,” he added. “Auricchio has to explain to me why, for eight years now, the San Paolo is increasingly a toilet.
“The councillor for sport, who I like, can’t go against him and therefore is also forced to be a liar. They don’t have to tell lies.
“If I’d been in that state of financial distress I’d have resigned.”
Napoli finished second in Serie A last season after pushing Juventus close for the Scudetto, but have seen some of their key players depart across the transfer window, including midfielder Jorginho who has joined Chelsea in the Premier League.
Asked if the club’s off-season spending was more than he accounted for, De Laurentiis acknowledged that he was likely to make losses as the club continue to pursue silverware.
“I love Napoli so I keep the budget open all year. Despite the growth I lost €15m last year and I’ll lose more next year,” he added.
Napoli open their Serie A campaign away at Lazio on August 18 before they return to the Stadio San Paolo for their first home fixture against Milan a week later on August 25.