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Rocco Commisso gives Fiorentina fans advice on how to support our club

In yet another outburst, Rocco has it in for everyone, journalists and fans alike

Spezia Calcio v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A Photo by Simone Arveda/Getty Images

‘Colpa dei giornalisti’ The journalists are to blame! By now we’re used to this banal ‘fake news’ used by Rocco Commisso every time he attempts to explain away any criticism aimed at Fiorentina. Now it turns out, the fans are also to blame, and how dare they, the paying public, make their feelings known at the end of yet another poor performance?

We last heard Rocco speak after the Coppa Italia win over Torino. He used that occasion to remind everyone that he was right all along, about the state of Italian football and Juventus. After Sunday’s dismal defeat to Bologna, I had wondered out loud if Rocco would be as quick to express himself. I received a reply telling me that yes indeed, Rocco would be responding to questions from Fiorentina fans on Radio Bruno.

I switched on their YouTube stream, and yes, I heard Rocco speaking with David Guetta (no, not that one). It was clear straight away from his tone, that Rocco, surprise surprise, was not in the best of moods. The first thing he said was that he was there because someone had criticised him for only speaking when Fiorentina win, I’m sure that could have been anyone!

Rocco was here to defend the squad, the manager, and all those who work for him at Fiorentina. It didn’t take him long to go on the attack himself. If Saponara’s bicycle kick effort had hit the net instead of the crossbar, well the game would have finished 2-2 (not sure how he knows that) and the player ratings would have been different.

It’s clear that Rocco is not a fan of journalists giving players poor ratings after a defeat. He then reminded us of his yellow and red card outburst from a few years ago but this time he would give out ratings himself. Proceeding to name journalists, giving a vote of 2 to a those who dared to criticise his team. This is becoming something of the norm with Rocco Commisso, go on the attack, call out people, name names.

Has Rocco Commisso ever heard what goes on in other cities in Italy, what those in charge of clubs such as Napoli, Lazio, or Roma have to put up with? It would seem strange that he hasn’t, as he seems to be an expert on what every other club and club owner is doing.

When challenged on the low number of goals scored by the team’s strikers, the president decided it wasn’t fair to only look at the goals scored in the league, but we should also consider those scored in the cup competitions. Given that the discussion at the time was regarding the club’s low position in the league, it’s quite clear why he was asked about their goals in the league. Rocco is the typical politician, answering a question with another question, or changing the subject completely.

Rocco has a point when he says that we can’t make heroes of players one day and claim that they’re useless the next. He also claimed that there are certain players who get targeted for abuse before the game even kicks off, which is certainly something which happens in the online world and there will always be people at the ground who will make their feelings known. The main problem, however, seems to be the chants after the final whistle, something which Vincenzo Italiano also spoke about in the wake of the latest defeat.

‘Fate Ridere’, a quite harmless chant to sing, ‘you make us laugh’ or ‘you’re ridiculous’, you will certainly hear a lot worse if you attend football matches at other grounds. For Rocco, who is used to football in America, where apparently these things don’t happen, this is unacceptable. Never mind that the ground is packed week in, week out, that people pay their hard earned money to sit in the cold and wet.

This does not give you the right to express your feelings even at the end of the game, even after cheering the team on for over 90 minutes. Rocco will not accept criticism, of anyone at Fiorentina, because he knows how much heart and soul, they put into it.

How lucky we are, to have this billionaire come and explain where we’ve been going wrong for so long. How fortunate to have a man with so much experience in football, who is willing to advise us on how we should support the club that has been there long before he arrived and will be here long after he has left. The media should also be thankful, to see a club president so obsessed with the ratings they give players, a man generous enough to explain how these things should work.

Maybe Fiorentina should publish their own magazine, give us only the positive news, maybe the results based on what would have happened if certain things had gone our way. A player’s rating would always be 10 as Rocco knows how much effort they put in. We would also probably win a lot more trophies this way, hypothetical ones, but isn’t that what we all really want?

Also, with all due respect, you cannot compare the Fiorentina fans to those who watch the games of Columbia University!

Napoli and Milan are out of the Coppa Italia, yes Rocco you are right, but, this has nothing to do with Fiorentina. This obsession with what the other clubs are doing is getting very repetitive, and especially when you are talking about one club which won the Scudetto last season, and another which will more than likely win it this season.

This is Rocco Commisso’s response to any question about the fact that Fiorentina are in 12th place in the league. He then returned to his favourite topic, journalists, who he called imbeciles.

Again, refusing to answer any question about the football side of things, why the squad is not performing as it should, whether Italiano is to blame for this, Rocco Commisso decides once more to drag the journalists into it. According to him, the Fiorentina fans are so influenced by what the media write about the team, this is what causes them to react in the way they do to a poor performance. It’s not Rocco’s fault, it’s not Italiano’s fault, it’s not the players’ fault, it’s those pesky journalists again.

Now I’m not sure what power Rocco thinks the media have over the fans, but I can assure him, the Curva is in no way influenced by what is written in the local press. They never have been, and if anything, the opposite could be said to be true.

From now on, we shouldn’t criticise Joe Barone or Daniele Pradè. In Rocco’s opinion, the money is his, the responsibility is his and the final decision is also his. In fact, the more we criticise them the closer Rocco will be to them. He really seems to believe that running a business is the same as running a football club.

Of course, in some ways it is, but when he says that his executives at Mediacom have made mistakes but have never been criticised in the way they are in Florence, does he seriously think Mediacom has a fanbase, a following who hang on their business results? A football club belongs to the city, to the fans, we are not clients of a business. Do not expect us to celebrate because you manage to balance the books by selling our best players and not reinvesting properly.

Sure, we have been starved of success for quite a while, and have never been the type of club regularly in the trophy hunt. We are not Fiorentina fans for the glory, we are a fan base which is prepared to go to the lower tiers of Italian football in order to support our club.

Rocco refuses to talk about football, and the reason is quite simple; Rocco Commisso, like his loyal right-hand man Joe Barone, knows very little about football, especially Italian football. It’s also time that Vincenzo Italiano and the players take responsibility for their performances. The last thing we need is a manager who goes along with the owner’s rhetoric. If Italiano is going to go down the same road as Rocco Commisso, this will not end well.

Fiorentina have won just six out of 21 league games this season. This is by any standards a poor record. It’s not true that the Fiorentina fans react badly to every loss, I was there when we lost to a late goal against Inter and the team were applauded off the pitch. However, when you lose 4-0 at home to Lazio, when teams like Torino and Bologna win at the Franchi, when the performances have been way below expectations, do not expect the fans to accept all of this in silence.

I’m interested to see how the fans will react to this latest outburst from Rocco Commisso. Attacking the Curva which up to now has never protested against Commisso may not be the wisest decision. After the league loss to Torino, there were fans closer to where Commisso sits who did insult the owner, and this may have been a turning point.

Now that he has decided to advise the Curva how they should support the team, another poor performance and result, especially at home, could see Commisso become the target of their disappointment.

One thing which we are very unlikely to see, is a little self-criticism on the part of Rocco Commisso. I would be happy just to see him actually reply to the simplest of questions, but for now, even this seems a step too far for a man incapable of accepting any sort of criticism.

I also wonder why we never hear any other club owner in Italy coming out on the attack like this. With Rocco Commisso one thing is guaranteed, there will be something for everyone, and now Fiorentina fans have seen that even they are not immune from his outbursts. Will Rocco remain immune to those of the Curva?