Claudio Fenucci’s Radio Rai interview
Our Managing Director Claudio Fenucci was interviewed this morning on Radio Rai, during Radio anch’io sport. Here’s what he had to say:
“Bologna-Juventus was obviously a tough game for us, we wanted to give our fans a last bit of satisfaction after a season of highs-and-lows. We could have done more this year, but it also could have been a lot worse: we have never been in the relegation fight – unlike some teams with similar or even larger budgets and tool-sets. It was an important game for our fans, who had indeed organised some specific celebrations for the team, so I’m sorry for them and for the President, who was there at the ground, that our performance did not live up to expectations. Mihajlovic has a special relationship with us, and we owe a lot to him as both a coach and a person for what he has done here. His contract runs for another two years and there have been no discussions held about that: like everyone at the end of the season, he wants four or five days to reflect and then on 1 June we will have meetings with him to discuss how to improve the squad ahead of next year. After a season of ups and downs, the Club has reiterated its desire to pump the squad up further and we will talk with him about that, looking to improve where possible and profit from the fact that this transfer window will again be unique, the last one defined by COVID. The overall economic situation in Italian and European football could mean a further reduction in the transfer fees payed for players, so this will probably be a good moment to invest more in talents that have come to the fore this year, because we recognise that ours is amongst the youngest squads in the division.
The issue of aiming to renovate and restructure our stadiums belongs to the whole of Italian football; in this country, we have low-quality facilities like no other developed, footballing nation. [Bologna] are in a good way, we have already put a financing operation in place with Credito Sportivo and we’re now discussing the decisive services for all that: in September, we should get the green-light and then we can start looking at the contracts. We are working openly with the local Council, our majority shareholder’s resources guarantee that the operation will be able to go ahead and now, with the provisional site in the area surrounding the Fico food park identified, we will be ready to begin works on the stadium in 2022, just before or just after the World Cup.
The issue of funding and the rather impromptu attempt to create, out of nowhere, a Super League with mainly financial motivations behind it have a huge bearing on the future of Italian football: we were in favour of funds coming in not for any financial reason (the Club is financially sound) but because the League needs restructuring. And, regarding media rights, it felt better to rely on experts with the aim of improving the system, to ensure that the League returned to focussing on football and the necessary reforms. These are the types of discussions we had not had for a long time. In leaving the management of something as complex as media rights in the game to an investment fund, there are actually contractual issues, organisational difficulties, reforms to be made to Youth football – there is a lot to be done. This idea, though, did not come to fruition, and today we have another meeting of all the Presidents and Managing Directors to work out how to learn from the experience and move forward with reforms in a way that looks out for the whole professional game.
Yesterday, by putting Patrick Zaky’s image on the big-screen at the stadium, we once again wanted to contribute to awareness of his difficulties: Patrick is part of the community here, he is a student at our university and football, given its ability to act as a platform, must always speak up for such issues of social justice.”