Napoli’s players call in their lawyers as they REFUSE to be locked away at chairman’s training camp… with manager Carlo Ancelotti backing them and skipping his media duties after Red Bull Salzburg draw
- Napoli came from a goal down to earn a point against RB Salzburg on Tuesday
- After Champions League clash boss Carlo Ancelotti did not speak to the press
- The squad also reportedly went home individually rather than returning to camp
Napoli’s players and manager Carlo Ancelotti are said to be in a furious stand-off with chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis which is threatening to engulf their season.
Ancelotti skipped his post-match media duties after Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League before he and his players reportedly refused to board a bus to a training retreat organised by De Laurentiis.
Gazzetta dello Sport report that this was an act of ‘mutiny’ by the players after the famously-fiery De Laurentiis began interfering in the dressing room.
Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti refused to carry out his post-match media duties
Napoli’s players are rebelling against the club’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis
Napoli’s players were due to stay at their Castel Volturno training base until Saturday’s Serie A clash with Genoa but have now contacted their lawyers after returning home instead on Tuesday night.
Ancelotti is understood to have travelled to the retreat hotel later on but was not joined by his players. The manager did not speak to the press after Tuesday’s game and has also been linked with leaving Naples to become boss at Boca Juniors next month.
Former Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente, who was also required to speak to the media, also failed to turn up. UEFA will now fine Napoli for failing to fulfil their obligations.
Discontent has been bubbling under the surface at Napoli this season, with the club sitting seventh in Serie A after a run which has seen them win just one of their last five league matches.
They are performing better in the Champions League – second in Liverpool’s Group E after four matches – but De Laurentiis’ intervention in team matters this week is said to have upset the players and coaching staff.
De Laurentiis ordered the ‘ritiro’ – where a team is confined to a hotel or sometimes its own training base – on Monday following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by AS Roma.
Both Ancelotti and the players were put out after orders from De Laurentiis (left)
The ‘ritiro’ is a standard response to poor performances at Italian clubs although critics say it is outdated and makes highly paid professional players look like misbehaving school children.
Ancelotti disagreed with the decision but initially said he accepted it. De Laurentiis told Naples-based Radio Kiss Kiss that his decision was not meant as a punishment. ‘It’s a chance for the team to get to know each other better,’ he said.
Napoli are due to train in front of their fans at the Stadio San Paolo on Wednesday but it remains to be seen whether they will now fulfil that arrangement.
Ancelotti’s side fell behind to a Erling Braut Haaland penalty in the 11th minute on Tuesday but equalised just before half-time through Hirving Lozano.
Fernando Llorente also did not speak to the press following Napoli’s 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg
Napoli players applaud their fans after earning a draw in the Champions League on Tuesday