In a recent controversy, Antonio Decaro, the mayor of Bari, demanded an apology from Aurelio De Laurentiis after the Napoli president referred to Bari as simply ‘the second team’ of Napoli. The issue arose during a lengthy press conference held by De Laurentiis at Castel Volturno, where he discussed various topics including managerial changes, player contracts, and the proposed Super League. Amidst these discussions, De Laurentiis briefly mentioned Bari, the Serie B club he also owns, indicating that they would be considered Napoli’s second team if they achieved promotion to Serie A.
Responding to De Laurentiis’ remarks, Mayor Decaro took to Instagram to express his dismay, challenging the notion that Bari could be relegated to a secondary status.
“Among the duties of those who hold the sporting title, there is not only that of keeping the accounts in order. There is that, perhaps more important, of representing the colors of an entire city, of showing respect to those who pay for the tickets every week, travel long distances for business trips or even simply suffer and celebrate in front of the TV,” Mayor Decaro wrote.
He continued, “This is why I find the words of Aurelio De Laurentiis, who defines Bari as a second team of Napoli, offensive towards the entire community of Bari fans. With all due respect to Napoli, we are nobody’s second team.”
Decaro emphasized the rich history and dignity of Bari, asserting that it cannot be belittled in such a manner. As both mayor and a fan, he called on De Laurentiis to issue an apology promptly, acknowledging the hurt caused to the people of Bari by these remarks.
Bari, currently positioned 15th in the Serie B table after 23 games, has experienced a mixed season with five wins, 12 draws, and six losses.