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NAPOLI

Napoli threaten legal action against own players after squad revolt

Napoli has released a statement apparently threatening to sue its own players after they failed to follow an order to stay at the club's training facilities until Sunday.

Napoli threaten legal action against own players after squad revolt
Francesco Pecoraro Getty Images

Napoli has threatened to take legal action against its own players after the squad defied an order by president Aurelio De Laurentiis to remain at the club’s Castel Volturno training complex until Sunday.

Instead of returning to the training facilities after the 1-1 draw with Salzburg that left the Serie A side second in Group E behind Liverpool, the squad elected en masse to return to their homes. Only head coach Carlo Ancelotti reported to Castel Volturno after refusing to speak to the media after the game.

Napoli relesease statement

Now the club has released a statement apparently threatening to sue the players and claiming the reponsibility for the squad's no-show falls on Ancelotti. 

"The club announces that, with reference to the behaviour of the players yesterday, Tuesday November 5 2019, it will proceed to protect its rights on an economic, capital, image and disciplinary levels in every competent jurisdiction.

"It is also made clear that the responsibility to decide on ordering days in a training retreat lies with coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"A press silence has been ordered from now until a date yet to be decided."

Ancelotti did not agree with De Laurentiis measure

The Napoli coach said in his pre-match press conference that he did not agree with the measure taken by De Laurentiis, who implied his players needed to find motivation after the club’s worst start to a Serie A season in almost a decade.

Napoli sit in seventh in the table, 11 points behind leaders Juventus and closer to the relegation places than the summit, causing De Laurentiis to lay out the unprecedented order for the squad to remain cloistered until after Saturday’s home game against 17th-placed Genoa.

Under-par Napoli spent big in the summer 

However, the players had different ideas. Napoli have become accustomed since De Laurentiis arrived at the San Paolo to challenging for the top four and even the title, despite Juve’s massive spending power compared to the relatively modest outlays the Azzurri generally make.

Last season Napoli finished second with Ancelotti at the helm, 11 points adrift of Juve. A year earlier they took the Old Lady to the wire and finished four points behind the perennial Serie A champions having led the standings for more than 20 weeks of the campaign.

De Laurentiis sanctioned a summer splurge to the tune of around 100 million euros, bringing in Hirving Lozano for a club record fee, Konstantinos Manolas, Alex Meret, Eljif Elmas and Giovanni Di Lorenzo while also rebuffing bids for established stars Kalidou Koulibaly, Fabián and Lorenzo Insigne.