Yesterday brought considerable hubub around the Napoli fanbase, as rumors exploded of a potential sale of the club. The report was that Aurelio De Laurentiis was using his trip to America to lay the groundwork for a potential deal to sell a majority stake of the club to a group of American investors of Italian (and specifically Neapolitan) descent.
That lead the club to release a statement today that firmly denies the reports currently in circulation:
Reports referring to the possible sale of S.S.C. Napoli S.p.A. to American or Qatari businessmen as well as the involvement of outside investors in the funding of a new stadium are completely unfounded.
The club therefore denies the existence of any talks regarding the possible sale of the S.S.C. Napoli S.p.A. as well as the involvement of outside investors in the construction of a new stadium for the club.
There's two interesting bits in this statement, though. The reports were centered around American investors, not Qatari investors. Where did that come from? There also hasn't been talk of outside investment for the stadium in weeks, so why bring that up here?
Something's off here. Yes, the club denied the reports of the sale, but virtually every team sale in the history of professional and commercial sports has been lead by the denial of initial reports. Add in the random extra details, and the fact that several oddities of this past summer being best explained by a sale in the works, and there's too much smoke here for there to not be some kind of flame under it.
Call it a hunch, but this isn't the last we're going to be hearing about the sale of the club.