Blogistuta ♥ Lotito

Earlier in 2009, when we were hounded by rumors of an impending takeover that may or may not have ever been close anywhere outside of the deluded mind of Fioranelli, and Roma started the season atrociously, we romanisti at least had Claudio Lotito who acted as some sort of balancing force to ensure that life wasn't all grim for us. Now the club is doing pretty well for itself, at least on the pitch, so December of 2009 has become a double-whammy: we have a (mildly) successful Roma and Lotito to put a smile on our faces.

Lotito's latest exploit is perhaps is finest yet. He has managed to lose the one champion Lazio had, at a negative loss. Instead of collecting the 18 million he hoped to get for Goran Pandev, instead of accepting the 12 million offer he received for the player in the end of August, Lotito now instead owes Pandev money following the verdict in the wonderfully scripted soap opera that is SS Lazio. A summation of the story reads as Pandev, without question the club's best player, being paid €400.000 per season, making him one of the worst earners in the first team. In contrast, the little known (because he hasn't played a single game for them) Portuguese Eliseu earns twice as much. For whatever reason, Pandev wasn't interested in signing a contract extension (I could make such a list of reasons a daily feature on this blog and have material to last me until 2013), prompting Lotito to respond as any megalomaniac club president would, by denying Pandev the permission to play, or even train, with the team as punishment for his unwillingness to re-up. Pandev take Lotito and Lazio to court for breach of contract, and a few days ago, the very predictable court decision freed Pandev from his contract with Lazio, due to run out in June, and declared Lotito must pay Pandev a 160.000 compensation, as well as cover the player's legal fees. The decision came despite Lotito's best attempts to make his own luck, which mostly consisted of requesting that the court session be postponed due to bad weather (despite all parties already being present inside the court room), and getting ejected for court misconduct. That behavior is precisely why I love Lotito.

With the decision in the Pandev case, there's a clear road ahead of one of the few other good players on the team, Ledesma, to also successfully cut all ties with Lazio as he too has taken Lotito to court. Meno male che Lotito c'è.