Rocco Commisso sent a letter out to the Fiorentina staff yesterday that should help settle any number of nerves. The Viola boss hit all the right notes. He provided updates on himself, the sick players and staff, and the Forza e Cuore fundraising campaign. He reinforced the importance of staying inside and being safe, for the sake of oneself and others. And he stated that, despite the obvious financial hit that Fiorentina (and Mediacom) are taking and will continue to take, he’ll do all in his power to make sure that none of his employees have any undue worries about money. Give the missive a read below.
“New York, March 24th 2020
“Dear colleagues of the Viola Family,
“First of all, I want to apologize for not having been able to speak with each of you personally during this extremely difficult period. Like all of you, I have been overwhelmed by recent events and have had to reorganize various activities.
“I would like to thank you for the sensational results achieved by the Forza e Cuore advertising campaign. Thanks to each of you, our colleagues and friends at Mediacom and across the USA, our fans and everyone who believes in Fiorentina, we surpassed our initial target of €500,000 in less than 72 hours. Once again, we’ve shown our generosity and proven our sense of belonging to our Club and to the principles and values which inspire us.
“Rest assured that I’m keeping tabs on all of you, speaking to the Fiorentina doctors and receiving daily updates not just on the health of the players but of all our employees and their families. Sadly, as I’m sure you’re aware, some members of our Viola Family have been directly affected by this terrible disease too. Some are still in the hospital, others have been able to return home, but thankfully nobody is currently in very serious condition. I wish everybody a swift and complete recovery and hope those affected can be reunited with their loved ones as quickly as possible.
“I’ve seen that the coronavirus data in Italy are—thankfully—showing some slight improvement in recent days, but that’s why it’s now more important than ever before that we follow the government instructions as strictly as possible and stay at home. I know it’s not easy to stay shut up in the house in our beloved and beautiful Florence, but now is the time for us to take responsibility and stay at home so that we can eventually come back stronger than before. I myself have been at home for the past ten days with my wife and daughter, while Joe Barone is isolating with his son Giuseppe in Florence, as is my son Joseph.
“We all need to make sacrifices—for the sake of our health and that of our loved ones. The greater, collective good is the top priority right now. Everything else—even football—comes second. You can’t do anything without your health. You should know that many companies in different industries are sadly having to deal with serious financial problems resulting from this health crisis. While our Club is facing similar economic disruptions, I want to reassure you that Mediacom and Fiorentina are solid organizations, which gives me confidence in assuring you that over time we will grow Fiorentina into a successful enterprise. Right now, however, all the Viola Family needs to worry about is its own health and that of its loved ones. For the rest, as I’ve said from the first day I arrived at the Club: “You take care of me and I’ll take care of you.”
“I would like to thank you again fro the wonderful bond you’re showing with the club on a daily basis. You show it by donating to Forza e Cuore, by asking for information every day, by working from home...thank you all for everything you do for Fiorentina. Now more than ever, we need to stay together. That’s the only way we can come through this very challenging and unprecedented health crisis.
“We’ll be back together—stronger than ever and as fast as possible—to fly the flag of our beloved Viola Family.
“My personal regards to you all,
“Rocco B. Commisso”
It can be tough to find any positives about this entire coronavirus situation, but this is certainly one. Commisso continues to display steady leadership and quiet initiative without ever putting the focus on himself, demonstrating his trust in the people around him. If nothing else, it’s consistent with what he’s said his intentions were all along: a transparent and unwavering commitment to doing things the right way for Fiorentina.
It’s also a shining example of how we can all come together through this craziness: by self-isolating, offering material and emotional support, and forefronting honesty and optimism equally. Right now, you can’t ask for anything else. Bravo, Rocco. Bravo.