Massimo Cellino has said he doesn’t “give a s***” about how Serie A finishes, declaring: “If anyone wants this cursed Scudetto, take it.”
The Brescia owner, who admits his team deserve their position at the foot of the table, called for the 2019-20 campaign to be aborted. At present, it is suspended indefinitely.
He says players should give up a third of their wages and clubs should accept an equivalent cut in their TV income while the coronavirus continues to stop football taking place.
In an emotional interview, Cellino said he had been feverish for three days and was experiencing depression amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Italy has been the world’s hardest-hit country in terms of the number of deaths from the pandemic, with over 4,800
losing their lives.
And for Cellino, football can wait while his country attempts to protect itself from worse days to come.
“You don’t have to think about when to start [football] again, but whether you survive. And if we talk about football, everything has to be moved to next season,” Cellino said. “Realism, gentlemen. This is the plague.”
Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Cellino said: “I’ve had a fever for three days and I’ve been in quarantine for eleven. I’m staying in at home in Padenghe sul Garda, I am alone. My wife Francesca is stuck in Cagliari, I have a son in Milan, the others elsewhere. I have seen and heard things that you cannot even imagine.”
He said the people of Brescia “ripped my heart out” with their bravery and added: “They have only one desire, to get back to work, to start living again. And do you want to talk about the championship, the championship? I don’t give a s*** … I’m afraid to leave the house, I’m having depression.”
The 63-year-old former Leeds United owner spoke of his admirations for ‘ultras’ who are taking oxygen to hospitals and his sorrow for those who are suffering.
“You can no longer play this season. Think about the next one,” he said. “Some people still doesn’t realise what is happening, and that is worse than the virus. I don’t believe in miracles, I stopped doing it long ago. We reset.
“The season is gone. If anyone wants this cursed Scudetto, take it. Closed. Finished. And I don’t talk like that because Brescia are last in the standings. We are last because we deserve it.”
As for how Italian football should confront its financial problems that have been triggered by the suspension of all matches, Cellino said the solution was “very simple”, defining it as: “One third of the championship was burned, and then one third of the players’ salary was cut, one third of the television rights and one third of the taxes.”
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