I do not know who had the worse Saturday, Alan Tanner or me. I was in the Stadio Olimpico for the final of the Coppa which Fiorentina lost 3-1 to Napoli. Before the game there was a serious shooting incident which delayed the kick off for some 45 minutes. The Napoli fans did not want the game to start until they knew the fan was alive. One of the problems in Italian football, and the reason for its decline, is the pandering to the Ultras. Thus the central negotiator in all of this was the leader of the Napoli ultras. You might have thought that the decision to start or delay would lie with police and the stadium safety officers, but instead we all watched as the Napoli captain Hamrik was deep in conversation with this man.
Those who feel there is too much interference with fans in the Premier League, as for example the attempt to ban Spurs fans singing offensive antisemitic chants, should take note that in Serie a the ultras can do much as they like. As for the game, we started without a recognised forward with Gomez still injured and Rossi on the bench. We did well to get back to 2-1 and, with Napoli reduced to 10 men, did have the opportunity. However, when Ilacic wasted his, my heart sank.
Nonetheless we look back on a successful season, finishing fourth and a respectable Europa League campaign, but if we are to push on and compete with the likes of Juventus, Napoli and Roma we need a stronger squad.