De Laurentis wants to eliminate the Napoli Ultras

And with them, in the wake of Agnelli and Co., popular support.

Before we begin the allegations, let’s give De Laurentiis an invaluable credit: that of to have united two historically enemy supporters (Milan and Naples) under the image of the old and never fading Ultras movement. However, this epochal fact, so to speak, must be factored into what has prompted us to postpone ours I blame to the President of Naples. In fact, it is no coincidence that, precisely at the most difficult and delicate moment of his relationship with the organized Neapolitan fans, De Laurentiis once again spoke of the “English model”, worse still the “Thatcher model” (he spoke the Neapolitan edition of republic). While Spalletti’s Napoli plays out history week after week, the atmosphere in Maradona is more akin to photography city ​​of sin than to that of Welcome to the south.

It all started (again) after the brawl between Napoli fans at Turn B during the Napoli-Milan Championship. The reason for the “debate” seems to be the dissonance between the Ultras – that later the prohibitions of De Laurentiis They decided to introduce flags, banners and drums in the Maradona into the defect Cheering at home – and ordinary Napoli fans who fail to understand that love for one’s colors and respect for one’s dignity goes far beyond results on the pitch. Translated: De Laurentiis cannot do what he wants just because things are going very well in sport.

As a showman, De Laurentiis saw in the “Civil War” a unique and rare opportunity to repeat that own Idea of ​​stadium: a space suitable for children and families, as quiet and condescending as possible, not the sacred place where thousands of people compete every Sunday Lover they pour out their faith and, so to speak, condense their existence. This “idea” of stadium, ca va sans direbased on the ‘Thatcher model‘. Apparently De Laurentiis does not know what he is talking about, or at least we hope so. In fact, if he really knew, he would know that instead of solving the problem of hooliganism, the aforementioned model caused hundreds of deaths.

“It is wrong to appeal to Thatcher. Hillsborough wasn’t caused by fan violence, it was caused byInefficiency of the police, of cages and fences that the model that Thatcher conjured up in stadiums. Back then was the mother principle Put hooligans in cagestreat them like animals to render them harmless.

This narrative has done nothing but establish one Relationship of increasing tension, nervousness and suffering. At Hillsborough, the overcrowding of fans was mistaken by police for an invasion of the pitch, with the consequences we all know.”

Indro Pajaro at Radio Sportiva, Episode from 4/4/2023

In reality, the current “English model” – that of human-sized stadiums, beautiful yet so quiet, so far removed from the veracity of authentically lived support – was born just after Hillsborough, when the Commission of Inquiry under the direction of Peter Taylor determined the real cause of the massacre: the fences that Thatcher wanted exactly, which were soon abolished in all stadiums in England (only numbered seats from then on). Therefore, although these facts are known even to those with minimal knowledge of the history of the hooligans movement in England and the United Kingdom, De Laurentiis has once again proved ignorant on the subject. Also because, based on the English Prime Minister, the Neapolitan patron it is obviously a repeat offender.

He has written extensively about it Pierluigi in Spanish Gazetta dello Sport, and stressed how “almost everywhere in Premier League stadiums people are sitting and enjoying the game, whereas in the past people ‘lived’ the game standing up, huddled in the stands and cheering. Of course, without pitying the hooligans, we can admit that the English have gained confidence, but perhaps they have lost some of the magic of football of yore.” For example, Liam Gallagher, a historic Citizens fan, explained how now (especially) in the Premier League “They seem to be in the theatre, all seated. Football is passion and I don’t go there for it anymore, you can’t enjoy it. It’s like they took the life out of the stadiums.” In that sense, the author revealed to us in an interview rebels in the stadium,

«De Laurentiis interprets today’s football perfectly. At least since the renovation of the stadium for the Mediterranean Games transforms the San Paolo into a theater stadium, with very high (above average) prices and strict rules that are not good for the Napoli Ultras – especially in a year like this. De Laurentiis is doing to Maradona and the Napoli fans what Agnelli did to the stadium and to the Juventus fans.”

Pierluigi Spagnolo at Contrasti, 04/11/2023

What does all this mean in practice? That “the modern stadiums of the ‘English model’ are safe but ‘gentrified’ has been emphasized by many. […] The relative calm in English stadiums is not due to the effectiveness of the more restrictive rules. Not just about that. Rather, it is the result of skimming, public choice performed through the leverage of Ticket price, which has become more and more expensive».

It’s very simple and at the same time very disturbing. De Laurentiis, speaking of Thatcher, may be making a mistake in the reference, but he has a good idea of ​​what kind of model to aim for in the years to come.

“I’m afraid that the model that all presidents have in mind is that of the stadium, but also that of English stadiums. A theater stadium for theatergoers, not supporters, but wealthy enthusiasts who, according to the presidents, behave better precisely because they are wealthy. Having an audience with less and less identity, having more tourists in the stadiumfor the presidents, it is a great advantage from an economic point of view ».

Pierluigi Spagnolo in Contrasti magazine, April 11, 2023

Which, among other things, does not eliminate the problem of violence per se – also because people continue to beat each other up in England – but shifts it out of the works. It’s an image if you will, disturbing but concrete: A flawless product is sold to the general public, free of flaws and flaws that eclipse all forms of violence (e.g. when someone invades the field, the camera has to photograph the fat man in the stands eating three hot dogs while drinking eight beers, or worse , the footballer , who is adjusting the laces of his shoes) to give the outside a pure and chaste image of football. But is this really football?

To deepen the History of the Ultras Movement in Italy We recommend reading this little editorial gem: rebels in the stadiumby Pierluigi Spagnolo (Odoya 2017).

As the Spaniard rightly asked: “Will we ever have a public free of all aggression, football without excesses? Probably not, because the world of football and football stadiums are nothing more than a reflection of the society that exists outside the gates.”

And indeed, it is no coincidence that it is our society that hides violence, mistakes and wounds by masking them under the false guise of kindness, upstanding morals (or social morality) and plastic surgery. “The rampant obsession with the violence of the ultras who would kill ‘the most beautiful game in the world’ strikes me today as yesterday more than any other rhetoric. Every mass rite has a human costsocially and economically inevitable,” wrote Alessandro Dal Lago in 1990 (description of a battle). He was right yesterday, he’s right today. But yesterday, as today, his warning went unheeded.

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