Be still for a moment and listen to the world around you. No words, just ears. Do you hear that wailing and gnashing of teeth? You do? Well, it’s coming from Florence, and it’s justified. Because everyone’s heard the bombshell by now.
Gennaro Gattuso is set to leave Fiorentina with immediate effect just 20 days after he’s been appointed, confirmed. ❌ #Fiorentina— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 16, 2021
Problems on transfers strategy between Fiorentina board, Gattuso’s agent Jorge Mendes and Gennaro himself. They’re now working to part ways. https://t.co/iiXPKhx1uC
Let’s be clear: this is from Fabrizio Romano, who’s generally reliable but not especially plugged into Fiorentina. It’s also based on anonymous sources, which means there could be any number of agendas at play. Until the club or Gennaro Gattuso release a statement, we don’t know what’s happening, and it’s definitely wise to scream inside yourself until there’s confirmation from one of the parties involved.
There are a couple of ways to look at this news. Perhaps this is Rino looking at the Viola org chart and deciding to stretch himself out so he can figure out where the limits of his power are. Especially if he’s been promised certain players and the club is reneging—following the reported breakdown of talks for Sergio Oliveira and Nicolás Gonzáles, that could be it—threatening to resign could be a way to see what exactly his connection with Rocco Commisso can get him.
Occam’s Razor, however, states that this is probably much closer to what Romano says it is. Adding the Oliveira and González situations to the news that Daniele Pradè and Joe Barone want to bring back Franck Ribery with guarantees of salary and playing time despite Gattuso’s disapproval only adds fuel to the fire.
Ringhio can surely find another gig elsewhere in short order, so the pressure is really on Fiorentina here to do something. Rocco’s back in the US for the next few weeks to visit family, but if this breakdown between the people running his team is real, he really needs to get on the phone with everyone and sort out what’s going on; even if Gattuso stays on, there will be a public perception of a rift, and that will only pile pressure onto everyone.
Gattuso, hailed as one of Italy’s best young managers, was seen as a breath of fresh air at a club that has gone dangerously stale. As a respected name in calcio and a fellow Calabrese, he seemed to have a good relationship with Rocco. If he walks away because Pradè and Barone can’t fulfill the promises they made upon signing him, it’ll set Fiorentina back years. Once you’re a laughingstock, you’re stuck with that label forever, and this is teetering on the brink of Zamparismo.
Again, nothing here is definite, and this situation will likely take another few days to reach its conclusion; it could well be a typhoon in a teacup, and when Gattuso’s guided Fiorentina to their third straight scudetto in 2026, it’ll be the sort of thing we chuckle about. If it’s true, though, it would mark the sort of descent into incompetence that precedes relegation and full-blown rebellion from the supporters. Either way, it’s a pretty awful look, and it’s very hard to feel any excitement around this team right now.