Salernitana in crisis as tensions grow between club and fans

SALERNO, ITALY - DECEMBER 21: during the Serie B match between US Salernitana and Foggia Calcio at Stadio Arechi on December 21, 2017 in Salerno, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

SALERNO, ITALY – DECEMBER 21: during the Serie B match between US Salernitana and Foggia Calcio at Stadio Arechi on December 21, 2017 in Salerno, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

Both U.S. Salernitana, via club owner Claudio Lotito, and the Curva Sud Siberiano, a prominent supporter’s group, have spoken out recently in regard to growing tension between supporters and management at the club.

Cittaceleste.it reported recent developments, publishing “Lotito, problemi a Salerno: durissimo attacco dei tifosi alla società” after a declaration was published by the Curva Sud Siberiano, “We ask all those who care about the fate of Salerno to read carefully the text here, we want to reiterate our position, as we announced, in the aftermath of the closing of the transfer market, against a company that does not reflect and gratifies our passion and our sacrifices.”

The unrest amongst supporters has various roots. Within their statement the curva highlighted the issues of lack luster transfer markets, with this most recent window’s most buys offering only mixed excitement, a lacking in community service by the club, particularly in schools, and the club’s rather stagnant position in the middle of the Serie B table for several seasons, in which it has never managed to win all of its key games and get into the playoffs.

The Curva Sud Siberiano spoke about the lack of youth outreach done by the club both in a social and academic sense, “A company that does not invest in what should be a heritage for ALL, on the fans of tomorrow, with initiatives aimed at schools… That fails to value a youth sector that should be our flagship, but who prefers to always fish in the house of others…”

Salernitana have not finished above tenth place since returning to the second division in 2015 despite the investment of Lazio owner Claudio Lotito and have stumbled this winter after starting the 2018-2019 quite well and only suffering one loss in its first ten matches. Their fall in form led to the firing of Stefano Colantuono as manager and the return of Angelo Gregucci, who has led Salerno to both positive and negative results.

The January transfer market saw the club loan out or sell several perefriall players but also saw Tiago Casasola, a promising player be promised to Lazio after the end of the 2018-19 season. This was paired with a handful of notable additions, primarily Hysen Memolla from Hajduk Split, Emanuele Calaiò from Parma, and Walter Lopez from Ternana. Each signing has been answered with mixed responses, with only Calaiò coming from a notably bigger club and doing so quite late in his career at the age of 37. This somewhat sleepy transfer window in the midst of a challenging time for the club has left many unsure if there is intent to actually chase promotion.

The reputation of the club, even in its own stands, will be decided by how or if it improves its lack of public relations, avoiding any dense community service and making its training ground more visible to the public. But Salernitana will also need for its purchases to pay off. Football is a beautiful but fickle thing and a burst of positive form from Calaiò may calm some of the anger brewing in the stands.

The Curva Sud Siberiano ended their statement with this, a call to others to take a stand against the club’s owners, “We do not let ourselves be influenced even by those who should represent us but do not do it properly, let us not deprive ourselves of what our greatest love is for us …SALERNITANA WE ARE US!”

Whether or not this call will be answered or affect the club in a tangible way is yet to be known, but time will tell.

This post was written by Dominic Jose Bisogno of Salernitana USA

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