It’s a time of crisis for Serie A club Napoli. Carlo Ancelotti’s men are currently seventh in the Serie A table, 13 points off the pace from league leaders Juventus. Now, another crisis threatens to engulf their season as a civil war of sorts brews behind the scenes.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis made his name in the Italian film industry. Perhaps fittingly then, the Napoli president has been involved in substantial drama at the club of late. Aurelio De Laurentiis has threatened to dock the Napoli player's wages by 25% after the squad refused to take part in a training camp which was demanded by De Laurentiis after a poor run of form this season.
Following their Champions League draw against RB Salzburg, De Laurentiis demanded that the Napoli players attend the training retreat due to their abysmal form in recent weeks. The Napoli players, however, did not report to the club's Castel Volturno training ground as requested. De Laurentiis, who enjoys the support of the Neapolitan fanbase, having invested heavily in the club, was reportedly infuriated with the mutiny of the Napoli players. In that moment of pure fury, the Napoli president is reported to have threatened to sell the entire team following the mutiny.
The tension has boiled over off the pitch, so much so that a number of Napoli players are reportedly considering hiring bodyguards, as they fear an attack from the club's ultras. Following news that the Napoli players refused to take part in the training retreat, midfielder Allan's house was broken into. Centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly has also allegedly already hired a bodyguard to protect his family. Furthermore, the civil war at the club has reportedly affected the Napoli players' decision to stay at the club. Dries Mertens, captain Lorenzo Insigne, Kalidou Koulibaly and the full-back duo of Elseid Hysaj and Faouzi Ghoulam have all been linked with exits after the Napoli crisis.
Napoli have registered just one win in their last five Serie A games. Following the players' mutiny, Carlo Ancelotti was reported to have been on the exit list, with De Laurentiis being keen on firing the former Bayern Munich manager. Aurelio De Laurentiis may have made his career in the Italian film industry, but the eccentric film mogul is now at risk of turning into the villain of the Napoli crisis story.