Milan (AFP) – Furious Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi said Tuesday he favoured boycotting his team’s midweek Serie A game at AC Milan because of their role in the planned Super League.
“I don’t like playing this match because Milan are one of these teams. I told (club CEO Giovanni) Carnevali and my players. If Carnevali obliges me then I’ll clearly go, but I felt disappointed.”
Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus are the three Italian teams part of the new Super League.
And 41-year-old former midfielder De Zerbi, who started his professional career at Milan, said he had been furious when he heard the news.
“I was so angry. Yesterday before training I talked to the lads for 30 minutes about the situation. I expressed my thoughts.
“The equivalent of a coup d’etat was perpetrated on Sunday.
“They could have done it out in the open instead of issuing press releases at midnight.”
De Zerbi slammed the 12 founding clubs as “bullies”, determined to deprive smaller clubs of their dreams because of their own mismanagement.
“Football belongs to everyone and is meritocratic,” said De Zerbi.
“The behaviour of these clubs undermines the right of the weakest to pursue their path.
“It is as if the son of a labourer cannot dream of being able to do the doctor or the lawyer. It’s like in the schoolyard as if they were saying: ‘the ball is mine. I’ll play. I’ll take it away’.
“Football has a role in society that’s different from other sports. This is the case for Italy and Europe.
“Creating a Super League of teams where they decide who should enter and who should stay out, is something that takes away the sense of football.”
De Zerbi pointed out that his own team had opted against buying new players in January to push for Europe because of their financial situation.
“We should have strengthened the team. Yet, I didn’t even make a request because I know very well what the problems of the team are,” continued De Zerbi whose side have dropped to eighth — 12 points off the Europa League berths.
“We are part of a rich environment, where a lot of money flows. So they are the ones who have to ask themselves questions.
“If all these teams are in debt, they have to ask themselves how they managed their companies.”
“Well-run clubs should not have to pay for the financial disasters of powerful bullies,” he said.
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