Lega Pro President Matthew Marani talks playoffs, relegated teams, and the future of Italian football

Matthew Marani, president of the Lega Proon the sidelines of the award event dedicated to ‘Renato Cesarini’ at Stopped, spoke to our microphones. The first lines were on the first leg of the playoffs: “They were two very good matches, very fun and very intense. Cesena found themselves ahead, then Lecco closed the gap. Between Foggia and Pescara it was a match full of twists and turns. This confirms that the playoffs are a winning formulaa formula that works, that pleases”. Marani continues: “Perhaps the most important fact of these two matches – beyond the goals and emotions on the pitch – are the full, sold out stadiums in both cities. And we are now preparing for the return to Pescara and Cesena: there too we will be sold out. And then the two big finals await us. I remember the dates: the Lega Pro will be on the field on 13 and 18 June to establish the 4th promotion. I believe that these playoffs are a hymn to football, to games, to entertainment, to entertainment. It is clear that, like all playoffs, the head to head can sometimes be a bit ruthless for those who go out, for those who lose. But I must say that from the point of view of interest it generates a huge and gigantic one”.

Marani: “I’m sorry for the relegation from Serie B. But here they will find a top-level championship”

The president of Lega Pro then comments on the relegation of important squares such as Benevento, Perugia, Brescia and SPAL: “Obviously for these companies I am sorry. This is a difficult moment for them. What I want to say to these companies is that we are waiting for them, they will find a championship that is organizing wella championship in which there are excellent teams and great squares. They too will have the opportunity to compete with very important teams. I remember that Lega Pro already this year had many teams with a great tradition and a great coat of arms”. And on the newly promoted he says: “There are the newly promoted ones, we celebrated them in Florence a few days ago. There are also very important teams there, famous. Above all I quote the Catania which of course is the one with greater tradition. But there are also very very interesting realities, perhaps a little smaller, which however also offer great opportunities to look into professionalism. Today we are in Fermo, I would say that Fermana from this point of view is the demonstration that football can be played in Serie C if you do it in a measured way and paying attention to costs“.

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Marani: “We have to think about the future. Italian football must go back to being one of the first in the world”

On the future of Italian football, Marani comments as follows: “We have to think about the future, that’s the point. Thinking ahead means invest – and we all have to do it – in a process of changeof innovation, of courage even in changing. It is clear that this model comes from the glorious years of Italian football, but today it is in a bit of difficulty . Unfortunately, this is demonstrated by the fact that Italy, which failed to qualify for the last two World Cups. In general we have some knots to untie. Well, I believe that this obliges all of us who are currently involved in football to think for an Italian football that must once again be one of the first in the world. I can’t think that Italian football isn’t among the first in the world”.

Interview by Davide Balestra

2023-06-05 20:11:56
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