Many of you have probably read AS Roma owner Jim Pallotta’s open letter from a few days ago. In it, he discusses the ups and downs (mostly downs) of the team since he bought it, defending himself against various accusations of disfunction, profit-seeking, and whatever else one levels at an unpopular owner. While it was clearly the work of a clever PR official, the superficial candor (yes, there are infinite levels to this, so let’s just stop there) was refreshing.
It also got us thinking what a similar effort by the Della Valle brothers would look like, and when we hacked into their Blackberries, this is what we found.
“What else could you possibly want from us? It’s been 17 years since we rescued you from the formless void of bankruptcy and Serie C2. We bought back the crest and the history. Heck, we even shelled out to have bring some fun players here. Remember Luca Toni? Remember Adrian Mutu? Remember Mario Gómez? Those dudes required significant outlay. We could have easily spent that money on researching a line of shoes even more distressing than the clown ones.
“Look, we know it hasn’t always been perfect, but that’s definitely on everybody but us. We’ve done everything right. We’ve consistently hired top managers like Siniša Mihajlović, Delio Rossi, and Vincenzo Guerini. We’ve had to get rid of players like Borja Valero and Manuel Pasqual and Gonzalo Rodríguez, but can you blame us? Everyone knows those guys are huge jerks. Plus, we’ve always forked over money for top replacements; who could remember Valero and Pasqual and Gonzalo when we’ve given you Edimilson Fernandes and Hrvoje Milić and Sebastian de Maio instead?
“And we think that really gets to the root of the problem, which is the fans. More specifically, it’s the fans’ expectations. Sure, this is the 7th-most decorated club in Italy, but the tifosi seem to expect a competitive squad these days. What’s that all about? They’ve got 92 years of history to lean on. If Fiorentina never wins another game, surely that’s enough to earn some groveling. I mean, AC Milan is now owned by a hedge fund and the supporters are suddenly fully in favor of predatory capitalism. Why can’t the Curva get behind our vision of extended mediocrity? Don’t worry, we can answer, it’s because they’re selfish. That’s why.
“We won’t pretend to be perfect. We don’t have Federico Chiesa’s rugged features. We don’t have Germán Pezzella’s listening eyes. Heck, we don’t even have robot legs (although don’t worry, we’re working on that one). But what we do have is belief in ourselves. We have belief in our (nineteenth) project, that this one will be the One. We have belief in infinite stores of patience. We have belief that praying for miracles is good business practice. We have belief that nobody will call us on this.
“What’s that? You’re calling us on this? Clearly you don’t understand how much we’ve done for you peasants. Real fans wouldn’t protest at seeing all the talent at the club gutted every year or so. Real fans wouldn’t decry the lack of vision. Real fans wouldn’t question why we haven’t been able to put together a decent team in half a decade. Real fans would just accept this mediocrity as the new normal, and fill the stadium, and maybe buy some handbags.
“If you were really serious about this club, you’d buy it yourself. You could have all the frustrations we’ve just mentioned. You could be the one to deal with the entire city treating you as the most public avatar of its civic virtue. You could be the one aspiring to the levels of personal genius that Massimo Ferrerro and Aurelio di Laurentiis have attained. What’s that? You don’t have €300 million lying around? Sounds like you’re not a real fan then.
“To summarize, we’ve done more for this stupid old city than anyone since the Medici, and if you don’t like that, then you probably smell like used diapers and flaccid cabbage. We’re tired of you and your disgust with our lack of ‘ambition’ as you so narrowly define it. And if you don’t stop being pills to us, we’ll pack up our toys and go home.
“Diego Della Valle
“and also Andrea
“P.S. If anyone wants to bring me some new Legos, please swing by the stadium. I’m very bored right now and Diego won’t let me get any of the new Ninjago sets.”
The transfer market isn’t open yet, but Fiorentina are already making moves. The first is that Christian Nørgaard, owner of the squarest jaw in football, is off to Brentford.
Pick Fiorentina’s best goal of the season. And yes, we swear that Fiorentina actually scored some goals this season.
We’ve also handed out final grades to the players that Fiorentina sent out on loan to other Serie A outfits; it’s nice to remember that some of them will be returning to Florence this summer to improve this miserable team.
We wondered who you’d take as coach should the possible new owners give Vincenzo Montella the boot, and you answered.
This was obviously (we hope) a joke. But real talk: are the DVs actually that petty?
This poll is closed
Comment of the week(ish)
With a new owner possibly incoming, baelfire has a suggestion for a new team name as well. Fiorentina had a good run, but now we are
That’s it for this week, folks. And believe us, we’re so, so, so sorry to be the ones to bring this moronic feature back to you.