From 2004 to today

From 2004 to today

Aurelio De Laurentiis arrives on the scene, and the story continues...

Then Luciano Gaucci, owner of Perugia, made his debut. There were those who cheered his arrival, but he lacked the resources to qualify for aid under the Lodo Petrucci Law (designed to save teams in just such circumstances) and give some hope to the Neapolitan fans who were packing Piazza del Municipio daily, desperate for news. It was a time of frantic legal manoeuvering and a great deal of anxiety. Calendars were filled in with x’s where Napoli’s name should have been, and everything was up in the air. The President of the Italian Football Federation, Franco Carraro, was called in. It was a technical issue: whether or not Napoli should be taken out of B, whether the fact of being in B should be considered part of the property of the bankrupt company and therefore under the auspices of the Official Receiver. The underlying question, aside from any legal issue, was whether or not the game of football was going to become extinct in Naples.

It was a major story in Italy and created endless conflict, even at the political level. Then suddenly movie producer Aurelio De Laurentiis appeared on the scene. He had previously offered Ferlaino 50 million Euros and had met with a refusal, but now he was back, resolute and ready to go. Time was of the essence, however. He met in Switzerland with Pier Paolo Marino, Managing Director of the Udine team, and together they made a pact to bring Napoli back to the fore – and to make it great.  Marino was met by applause on his return to Naples – after all, he had been there for Napoli’s first Scudetto. He left a well placed and solvent Udine team to try his luck again with Napoli. Aurelio De Laurentiis was new to the football world and was facing a huge challenge. Born in the Campania region to a prestigious film family, in 1975 he founded the FilmAuro Company, which has over 300 films to its credit in terms of production and distribution. De Laurentiis is behind a number of blockbuster film series that are among the top five box-office hits each year. A shareholder in Cinecittà and President of the Italian Film Producers Association, his appearance on the scene was a real act of providence. In a matter of days he resolved a situation that had been festering for months. He paid the courts 30 million Euros, founded Napoli Soccer, presented an ambitious project, put Pier Paolo Marino in charge of it, signed the team in Serie C1, and engaged Edy Reja as coach. It was the beginning of a new era.

Napoli was back. The first year it almost won the final Play Off against Avellino and promotion to Serie B. The next year, with a brilliant line-up, they made it.

De Laurentiis further beefed up the team by engaging some of the best players going, and was more than ready for the 2006-07 season, this time under its former name of Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli and with the much more ambitious goal of getting into Serie A.

Successful undertaking on 10th June 2007. Napoli draws in Genoa and reaches the First Division together with the 'grifoni cousins'. An exciting promotion which brings back to the town the enthusiasm of the golden age. The team is welcomed by a crowd of fans pouring in the streets, as to recall the deeds of Napoli during the Maradona age.

The Neapolitan Renaissance officially starts. They come Lavezzi, Hamsik and a team able to conquer Europe on the first year, after a wait that had been lasting for 14 Seasons and almost 5,000 days.

This is an international objective that coincides with that one of the next Season with the new Donadoni designer Napoli. Everything at the dawn of the second quinquennium of the De Laurentiis Age.

With the arrival of high profiled and experienced manager like Rafa Benitez who has won all over Europe, Napoli start a new International phase for a club that wants to steadily reach the highest levels in the football’s world. The adventure is still going on while De Laurentiis is celebrating 10th years of his management..