Napoli owner calls for Liverpool to be kicked out of Champions League
Liverpool and Roma are accused of having the same ownership without declaring it
Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis has launched a sensational accusation claiming that both Liverpool and AS Roma are breaking UEFA regulations by having the same ownership without declaring it.
De Laurentiis, a well-known Italian film producer and a man fond of making controversial statements, made the claims shortly after admitting that his Napoli side had placed a bid with AS Roma during the summer for goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Becker, Brazil's number one keeper, eventually moved to Liverpool for a then-world record fee of £67 million.
De Laurentiis' claims centre around the fact that both the Premier League and Serie A clubs are owned by Americans.
Liverpool are owned by the Fenway Sports Group (FSG), while AS Roma are owned by an American investment group led by Thomas Di Benedetto and ran day-to-day by president James Pallotta.
Di Benedetto also happens to be a partner at FSG, alongside John W. Henry and Liverpool chairman Tom Werner.
These links, as well as the incident with Alisson Becker, have led De Laurentiis to speculate that the two clubs are in fact owned by the same entity.
“Roma? They changed a lot and I don’t know if that’s good. I wouldn’t have sold Alisson, not even for €100 million. I had offered €60 million for him but Roma didn’t want to sell him to me," he said to Corriere dello Sport.
"I have the doubt that Roma and Liverpool have the same owner. I was told by somebody a few years ago and if it was true they would not be allowed to play the Champions League."