Saturday Apr 10, 2021  
  26/03/2014: Libera La Lazio: The Cause and Effects
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If you are a football fan and follow Serie A closely, you must have noticed a lot of noise these past weeks in relation to protests, which Lazio fans from the capital are organizing against the club President, Claudio Lotito.

The fans have undertaken a severe form of protest, which is abandoning the team and not attending the home matches, making Olimpico look like it is forbidden arena. Not to mention the bad taste which this leaves on the players who are unfortunately left in the middle – between the person who pays them and those who cheer for them and pay to watch them on a weekly basis.

If you are an independent observer and have no clue what is going on, this is a quick summary:

Lazio fans are protesting against President Lotito saying that the club has no ambition and no vision for improving the team and making it compete with the strongest Serie A teams. Furthermore, they accuse the President of using funds of SS Lazio to finance the other team under his ownership, Salernitana. Lazio fans want Lotito to sell the club to someone else who will be willing to take over and take the club to the next level.

President Lotito on the other hand claims that he has a project, that Lazio is standing very good from the financial point of view and that other teams will very soon have to copy Lazio due to financial fair play. He often mentions the amount of money he has invested in the team and the few Coppa Italia`s the team has won in the recent years. Further, he says that Lazio has featured regularly in Europe in the last years.

So, this is basically a very short summary of the situation, which if the truth be told has been going on for several years now but which has peaked this season. 

But the true problem is this: both parties are refusing to sit and talk and this is what is making me sick in my stomach. 

Why can`t both parties sit and talk like normal people when both claim their interests for la Lazio are better than of the other party?

Both the fans and the President are being too stubborn by taking the situation too far: the fans think that they will hurt Lotito by boycotting the team and then there's Lotito, who thinks that a team can survive without fans.

I thought such situations occur only in developing countries where the need for dialogue is often dictated by the stronger side. 

Strangely enough, in this case we have a situation where both parties seem to think that they are the stronger side and that ultimately the other party will give in to their demands. Knowing both sides, this is unlikely to occur soon and as a consequence the image of SS Lazio will continue to be degraded. 

Unwillingly (or not), both sides are hurting the team in the following manner:

By not signing more quality and proven players, Lotito risks facing rejections very soon by players who would otherwise choose Lazio without hesitation. 

On the other hand, by boycotting the teams and not showing on home matches, the fans risk doing the same – a player who is contacted by Lazio would ask himself – why should I sign for this team who has no fans coming to the stadium.

What should be done?

The situation is not easy at all, but I suggest that a group of past Lazio players, coaches, managers, officials, celebrity fans form a group with authority who will start working for the reconciliation of the fans and Lotito. Such a group could include for instance the likes of Alessandro Nesta, Clemente Mimun and others.
Author: Amir S
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