Claudio Lotito’s latest press conference revealed his plans for a new look Lazio with ambitions of reaching the Champions League and bringing the supporters back to the Olimpico;
"I hope that the new season coming up will resolve the misunderstandings of the past season. Leaving the stadium empty is a very serious form of protest. As a club Lazio must continue to evolve and achieve positive results, with the help of the management of the club and its supporters".
"My biggest regret is not being able to build a solid relationship and closeness with the Biancocelesti fans, in particular with the most radical and tight-knit ones"
Lotito was then asked about former Biancocelesti striker and legend, Bruno Giordano, and that he sees some positive signs under Lotito’s reign as president;
"I appreciate his positive words and I know they are sincere. Like him, I am a Lazio fan, and the turning point is fighting for something important such as the Champions League. The Europa League is also important and it would be a turning point, but we want to reach the highest levels possible and so our goal for next season is the Champions League".
One of the reporters then asked about the fans expectations of building a strong side and the past false promises of bringing in world class talent to Lazio;
"If we brought in all the names that have been linked to us in the media, it would indeed be a great market. We finished in ninth place and we will definitely reinforce this summer, especially in the defensive part of the squad. We will see what happens".
"Our goalkeepers Marchetti and Berisha have recently been linked with moves away which is natural as they are high quality players, so it will be hard to retain them but we are very confident we can keep both of them".
Lotito was then asked about former captain Pino Wilson’s comments that the turning point will only arrive when words are supported by actions and the reality (referring to false promises of certain players joining), and only then will fans back Lotito’s reign;
"If such good intentions are supported by the facts, then the words are interpreted first with logic. The only solution to seeing concrete results in the transfer market is being patient". The president was then asked about the need to improve the fans trust in him and his management team, so that the fans can quickly change their minds and back him;
"For example, if you buy Parolo and then sell Candreva or Lulic, it is useless. In order to have a breakthrough year you do it with a competitive team. This is the only way to get into the Champions League, and this is why I prefer to wait for a while and be patient with our moves in the market place".
"Well I guess if I build a Champions League team then the fans will have no problem in changing their minds. At the moment there are so many question marks starting from our new coach Stefano Pioli. The fans must have faith and confidence in me and the coach otherwise it is difficult to move forward".
The reporters asked Lotito about the recent sale of Hernanes in January and the potential sale of Antonio Candreva;
"Candreva? He has been linked with many clubs in Italy and abroad and I would like for him to stay. So far I have not received any concrete offers for him. As for Hernanes I did not want to ever see him go but sadly it was an economic decision to sell him". "If we win games then those results will help us greatly in regaining the fans trust and support. It would be a good starting point, but the results must be seen in the long term. I do not think we can wait around for another season to resolve this conflict, it must be done as soon as possible and this is our intention".
Lotito concluded with the following;