From 1963 to 1968

From 1963 to 1968

From the Coppa delle Alpi to Corrado Ferlaino

Relegated to Serie B for another two years of purgatory, it managed to fight its way back and win third place in Serie A and the Coppa delle Alpi in 1965-66.

On 25th June 1964, however, the name Associazione Calcio Napoli had been legally changed into Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli, with assets of the equivalent of about 60,000 euros, 40,000 invested by new shareholders. Achille Lauro, still in the company, did not invest anything, but nevertheless obtained 40% of the stock because of sums he was owed from the past.  Among the new arrivals was his son, Gioacchino. Roberto Fiore was elected President after a number of meetings, clashes, and attempts to form alternative alliances – even an ‘alternative’ Napoli. After all this a new association was indeed created, at the suggestion of Gigino Scuotto, the Azzurri's President the previous year, to be called the Naples Football Club, with Giovanni Proto as President. Proto was a city councillor and a monarchist, which means he had probably reached some sort of agreement with his friend and fellow-monarchist, Achille Lauro. Lauro seemed very interested at first, to the extent of having transfer-of-ownership papers drawn up by a federation functionary, Perlasca. Then he begged for time and in the end failed to show up at the final meeting that would have clinched the deal. Giovanni Proto, as if he were unfamiliar with Lauro’s character, was so furious that he tore up his Monarchy Union membership card and declared himself an independent in the city council. To spite Lauro even further, he transferred the assets of the newly founded Napoli Football Club to a company named Cirio, changed its name to Internapoli, supported the Serie D championship, and had the pleasure of launching two heavyweights like Giorgio Chinaglia ‘Long John’ and Pino Wilson in Serie A, on the Lazio team.

Thanks to Roberto Fiore, the Neapolitans finally had a really good team.  Fiore, President of Juve Stabia in C2 in the 1990s, was able to pull off two splendid deals, thanks also to the astuteness of Achille Lauro who remained Honorary President. Within weeks he was able to get Omar Sivori and then Josè Altafini from Juventus. The quality of the team skyrocketed. Also in the line-up were the great Totonno Juliano, Faustinho Canè, Vincenzo Montefusco, Postiglione, Panzanato, Bean, etc.  Napoli came third in the classification that year, behind Inter Milan and Bologna, with the added joy of upsetting Inter by preventing it from winning its tenth Scudetto. Just at the end of the championship Napoli won at San Paolo against the black-and-blues by 3-1, with three goals by Altafini. The team had never come so close to winning the Scudetto.

Fiore did not stop there, but began to think in terms of Nils Liedholm as an addition to the youth division, and to strengthen the team even further by engaging Gigi Meroni, from the Turin team. Lauro and managers Tardugno and Corcione actively tried to interfere with this acquisition, probably because they were envious of the success Roberto Fiore was enjoying. He had managed to entice 69,000 fans into buying season tickets. Whatever the reason, Fiore was forced to hand over the reins to Gioacchino Lauro.

Napoli came second in the 1967-68 championship, with Milan taking first place.  Among its managers was a young engineer named Corrado Ferlaino, with few shares and fewer words.