Former S.S. Lazio legend and iconic player Vincenzo D'Amico has sounded in a recent interview yesterday something which reminds me of a phrase I coined last week, 'S.S. Lotito'.
He has said that "Lazio is now Lotito and fans have lost the love and passion for the club" because of this.
It is no secret of the fans distain for the Lazio president. Since taking on the role back in 2004, he has been directly blamed for everything from the lack of quality of the squad to failed transfer buys.
The Laziali are not afraid of voicing and displaying their opinions publicly either with banners, chants and even choregraphy all based around terms like 'Lotito Vattene' or 'Lotito Go Away' which appear regularly at games.
There have even been death threats against him, the most recent in September this year for failing to seal the deal with what would have been the big summer signing for the club Burak Yilmaz from Galatasaray according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. Although he did reportedly spend €28 million bringing in younger more raw talents such as Etrit Berisha, Keita Baldé Diao, Pereirinha, Diego Novaretti, Brayan Perea, Lucas Biglia and others, declaring that he has "made the squad competitive over three tournaments with replacements of a very high quality in all areas.”
It seems the fans contempt cannot be swayed even with trophies won under his presidency, including three Coppa's and one Suppercoppa.
D'Amico has also stated that "fans are no longer able to identify with any player". Gone are the days of favourites Like Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Di Canio, who the Lazio faithfull still identify with. The current crop of players are really viewed upon as mercenaries for hire, who have no loyalty. This could stem from news coming out about team members wanting to leave amidst the current crisis. A good example of this is reports of recently underperforming goalkeeper Federico Marchetti threatening to walk, with offers from clubs like A.C. Milan for him to choose from unless he gets a payrise. Lazio Fans have expressed that in this season especially the players do not seem to care about the steady stream of losses to easier sides and are worried about the lack of conviction and lack of respect toward the club.
Lazio have made it through to the next round in the Europa League, but were unable to top the group and such they have not been seeded. The season in Serie A is not going well though, with only four wins, five draws and six losses, which sees the team only in twelth place with fifteen games played with only seventeen points, a whopping twenty behind arch-rivals A.S. Roma.
Vincenzo D'Amico was a Lazio player during the 'Golden Age' era, when it won it's first Scudetto in the 1973–74 Serie A season, making 336 appearances and scoring 40 goals in total for the club. He is regarded very highly because of saving Lazio from relegation to Serie C in the club's darkest period, the 1981-82 season when he scored a hat-trick against Varese in the deciding match.
As published on www.tibsnews.com