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Lotito vows never to sell Lazio

Lazio president Claudio Lotito has vowed to never sell his controlling stake in the club and refused to bow to fan pressure.

With city rivals Roma already under foreign ownership and Inter owner Massimo Morrati in discussions with Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir over selling the club, Serie A appears to be following the path of many leagues around Europe.

However, Lotito has pledged never let Lazio go the same way and insisted he will never relinquish his stake in the Rome club.

The 56-year-old has been owner of Lazio since 2004 and, despite fan pressure to change his transfer policy, he is adamant he will remain in charge.

“I put a lot of money into Lazio,” he told Il Messaggero. “In 2004, to take 21 per cent of the shares, I paid €25million. Then to reach 70 per cent I needed another €100m. That’s how I became president of a club that only had €1m.

“How much is Lazio worth now? I never thought about valuing it, as I never considered selling either and I will never sell Lazio.”

The president was not afraid to hit out at the club’s fans who have criticised him, insisting as owner he can do what he likes.

“The people must realise that this is my club, it does not belong to everybody, so I will control it the way I see fit,” he added. “There is no such thing as a professional fan.

“Last season many complained that the team was old and lacking in alternatives. I brought down the average age of the squad and signed substitutes up to the task, but the people are unhappy anyway.

“It’s good that we did not sign Burak Yilmaz, as he would’ve caused problems in the locker room and his agent’s approach was tantamount to extortion.

“Mauro Zarate remains my biggest disappointment. He was also the biggest investment, as I paid €22m for him.”

Lazio face Fiorentina at home on Sunday looking to maintain their unbeaten run at home in Serie A this season.

Sun 6 October, 2013
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