Originally published in la Gazzetta dello Sport
Every week Football Italiano brings you a translation of one of la Gazzetta dello Sport’s interviews with a major name from the world of Italian football. This time it is the turn of Chievo President Luca Campedelli, whose team currently find themselves rooted to the foot of the table…
“I’m thinking about the distress I’ll feel during the next season”. President Luca Campedelli, these were your words during the celebration for the promotion last May. Did you foresee it all or was it just a bad omen?
“I knew there was going to be distress, I’d guessed it. But I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be on such a big scale, a little less, come on…”.
How does it feel to see Chievo at the bottom of the league?
“I have seen it before and now I have to see it again. It doesn’t feel nice. I’m convinced we’ll manage to get out of there, we’ve got all the right means”.
What explanations do you give yourself for this crisis?
“It’s a mix of things. There have been some deficiencies on our part, even if some have been exacerbated…”.
Indeed. Seven penalties against, no one else in Serie A has had to suffer so many: a merciless number. Are Chievo paying for some refereeing episodes?
“I’m not demanding penalties in our favour, nor requesting privileges. In this situation it is not possible to go on. It can’t happen that in the same match there are two different criteria of a judgement. Two referees can make a mistake, of course. But the same referee can’t make the same mistake twice. Against Juve, Sissoko should have been sent out for his kick at Yepes. And Banti didn’t do anything. And against Fiorentina, for a similar foul, Banti told one of our players not to play-act. Besides the penalties, there’s a weird way of dealing with cautions and sendings off. I can’t understand anymore, I must only ascertain that there’s a lack of uniformity of judgement ”.
Is there something “behind the scenes” between the referees?
“Well, not like a few years ago. I spoke about referees before, in 2006, prior to the football scandal. And we went through hell. But if I begin dragging up the past now, people will start to think bad. There certainly is something. It is easier to make a mistake with Chievo than with other teams. But at this point, send us some Serie C referees, so they can train and get some experience. Give way to the youth, at least we can help somebody. They’re better, for if they make mistakes they do it because they are wrong”.
But are Chievo feeling like the victim?
“I never feel like a victim. I feel ‘damaged’ though”.
Is this the most difficult moment of your presidency?
“No, but it isn’t among the most exciting either. It has been more difficult on other occasions. Now we need to be able to face this situation and deal with it in the right way, without getting excessively discouraged. The championship is very long, there are still 26 matches to be played. So we can show who the real Chievo are. If then we are poor, I’ll be the first to accept the verdict and not to engage in any more controversy”.
Who made the worst mistakes?
“Everyone, without exception. Me, the coach and the players”.
Iachini’s dismissal: you had some reservations in the summer, perhaps it should have taken more courage before?
“There weren’t any doubts about the coach, those were journalistic witticisms. We should have just talked to him, our philosophy is to make annual contracts. Would I do it again if I could turn back time? You don’t make history with ifs and buts”.
You are full of fighting-talk, Mr. President, not at all resigned to defeat.
“It’s a habit of mine, to go on working and battling on. It’s not episodes like these that let me down. And, as we’ve got time now, we need to re-write Chievo’s history”.