President Niederauer’s statement

February 29, 2024

This morning, VFC President Duncan Niederauer spoke at the press conferenze in Ca’ Venezia:

“I would first like to start with a comment on last night's game: we are a strong and fit team, there are 11 games to go and it is right to maintain the approach we have had so far, which is to think from game to game. It is also fair to point out that, at this point in the season, we have already reached the total points scored last year.

On the rumors about a possible departure of Coach Vanoli, I can say that he has a contract for two more years and has never expressed to us his desire to leave, so I do not understand these rumors. Vanoli is motivated, he has an important contract with us and he deserves it because in the last 15 months he has done an incredible job, getting great results, and it is obvious that this may have attracted general attention. The team is playing very well, getting a lot of points and it is also thanks to Paolo Vanoli who is a great coach and very prepared. I have a constant dialogue with Antonelli and Vanoli, do we always agree? No. Are we always together? Yes. As in any human relationship you cannot always have the same opinion but we remain united and on the same wavelength.

On the team, I wanted to highlight how crucial the return of Idzes and Svoboda has been, as seen again last night. They have allowed the coach to have more options regarding the choice of the best system of play, which by the way is similar to the one that gave us great satisfaction in the finale of last season. The team is very flexible and consists of several pliant players who can adapt well to any situation.
Perhaps some people might be skeptical about this, but I can confirm that, regardless of the bans imposed by FIFA, we had already decided last December not to buy anyone in the January market window. This I believe is a great act of trust in the team and the coach, I am convinced that the boys are able to overcome any opponent because so far they have shown all their value and character, fighting in every game.
In the summer we added many talented players, we never spared ourselves in terms of spending to build the roster that is one of the strongest in the league. This team can win and I believe in it, there should be no alibi for anyone.

Turning to the financial aspects, it is clear that in recent years we have spent a lot, perhaps too much. Fifty million euros have been invested in the last three years, including about 35 million for players. Almost all the financial aspects for the purchase of players have been settled, with the exception of three situations that we are trying to resolve. A great deal has also been invested in infrastructure, as much as 15 million euros, 14 million of which have already been settled. We still have a lot of work to do, some outstanding balances to settle, and we are doing our best to meet our creditors, whom I particularly thank for the patience they are showing us. We pay salaries, taxes, and contributions regularly and meet the deadlines that are imposed on us. Every day we work to reduce our costs and to meet the demands of our creditors, as it is my responsibility to do. I assure you that I am focusing all my efforts to resolve these kinds of situations.

Regarding the bans that FIFA has imposed on us, we are working to resolve the situation in the coming weeks with the teams in question. With one of them, we have already met in the past few days and I am confident that everything can be resolved within a few weeks, that is our goal. There have been several rumors about a possible third ban, but this is not true. There are two additional situations that are still work in progress and we are pursuing them in civil dialogue with the counterparts. In one of these situations we owe money to another club and in the other situation a team has to pay us what we are owed. In both cases the dialogue is open and in neither case will FIFA intervene.

We are in contact with several potential investors. The rumors in the press about the involvement of Cerberus are true but this is just one of several potential partners with whom we are in dialogue. As for the current investors, we are a primarily American group that loves the city, soccer and this club. Most of us will remain at the helm, by the end of March this group will be joined by other investors, and if the investment fund joins us, that will happen subsequent to the entry of the new partners. By the next time I return to Italy I hope there will be further news on this issue.

In conclusion, I read somewhere that the club would not want to go to Serie A, this all seems absurd to me. Why would we not want to achieve promotion? We have invested so much and we are confident that we have built a very strong team with the right ambition. I am very proud of all of them, they are getting important results, the ranking is there for all to see. Going to Serie A would be a big boost for the ambitions of the whole club, I told the boys that I don't want to put pressure on them but we have to take one game at a time. Yesterday our opponent was Cittadella, on Sunday it will be Como and then to follow all the others. It is clear that I and the whole club are united in the pursuit of our dream.“