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Aurelio De Laurentiis Will Not Let Napoli Issues Go Away

Aurelio De Laurentiis

Napoli appear to have put recent tensions behind them as they celebrated during a Christmas party on Tuesday night.

New boss Gennaro Gattuso was present at the event as was club president Aurelio De Laurentiis. Gattuso replaced Carlo Ancelotti last week but lost his first game in charge to Parma at the weekend.

But whilst everyone seemed to be in good spirits, De Laurentiis seems to be steadfast on fining his players.

He said at the party according to Gazzetta dello Sport:

‘Certain mistakes can’t be forgiven just because it’s close to the festive period.’

Napoli – considered potential title challengers before the season started – are 18 points behind leaders Juventus in the Serie A table.

Their form has not been helped by squad mutiny, vicious recriminations and the extraordinary possibility of the club’s hierarchy suing the players.

As they prepared for last month’s home fixture against Red Bull Salzburg, everything went off the rails very quickly.

De Laurentiis decided the squad needed to be punished for their poor display against Roma and sent them off to a training retreat.

Such a response to poor form, known as going ‘in ritiro’, is a common enough tactic in Italian football and De Laurentiis wanted the training camp to last all week.

However, after a 1-1 draw with Salzburg left Napoli needing to wait a little longer to secure their Champions League progress, the players did not report to the club’s Castel Volturno training ground as requested.

Instead the players, deciding they didn’t deserve to be punished like misbehaving schoolchildren for their slack performances, jumped in their cars and returned home.

Unsurprisingly, the Napoli hierarchy reacted to this insubordination with fury and announced legal action could be taken against the rebellious players.