Napoli's ability to host their scheduled match on Sunday against Fiorentina is in doubt right now, thanks to yet more drama between club and city over the Stadio San Paolo. Meetings on Wednesday over the club's lease and their mutual future plans with the city for the stadium went very badly, and now Napoli must get a special use permit from the city in order to host their matches in the San Paolo.
Apparently when meeting to discuss the terms of Napoli's lease and plans for the stadium's renovation, the representatives of the city council pulled out less than a third of the way through the planned discussion and negotiation points. The move shocked and angered Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis, who threatened to call off the match altogether if he's required to abide by the ridiculous terms of the permit he'd have to secure.
The permit would require Napoli to pay €5,000 plus 10% of their proceeds for the match, a steep single-match price for a team that already struggles with matchday revenue, thanks largely to the run-down state of the San Paolo.
The stadium has been a white-hot point of contention between club and city of late, and a showdown like this has been inevitable for weeks. For his part, mayor Luigi De Magistris seems to feel that the current situation is the result of a political power-play by the city council, a belief backed up by at least one councilor.
As for De Laurentiis, he is predictably livid, and used this situation as an example of just how "sick" the sport has become in Italy.
Nobody ever opposed Arsenal when they wanted to invest in the construction of a new stadium. It’s different here in Italy. Our laws are wrong and leave us open to a thousand problems.
Mayors have to be proper city managers. In Italy we are slaves of the political condition. The Mayor must deal with various elements who want nothing other than for his political life to die out early.
That's just part of a very long rant De Laurentiis went on on the subject. It's well worth reading the whole thing, because while the specifics are a little self-centered because of his current frustrations, his larger points are 100% spot-on.
It's likely that some form of temporary solution will be found -- it always has when the ability to use the San Paolo has come up before -- but this is a situation that still bears very, very close monitoring as it unfolds.