Written by: Massimo Sampaolesi. Translated by: Carlotta Belluzzi.
Bologna is anomalous. In a world made of yelling and hysteria, of “f* you”s thrown at anybody anywhere, and of malicious mockery, Bfc 1909 moves like a butterfly: it flies around, attracting everyone’s attention to it for a short while, and then it goes away, silently. National media prove it: despite the fact that Donadoni’s team is flying high up there, where only eagles and reckless pigeons dare go, still very few people know how solidly out beloved team is growing. It is not talked about much, if at all. And yet, with incredible zeal, Bologna is hanging on, clutching tight to that Ariadne’s thread that Saputo has been leaving behind, to lead the club out of the labyrinth of ambiguities and lies, bankruptcy and demotions, that had been loaded on the fans’ shoulders.
Saputo watches over and smiles, silently, and so does his team. Maybe Bigon and Donadoni do not smile as much, but, silently, they too work hard and follow the “one way” signpost placed by Saputo. As does Di Vaio, as does Fenucci. Just a while ago we were in the B League, swearing with and for Diego Lopez. Today, not much time later, and yet with much more conceit, we lament not steamrollering the team that is currently lead by Lopez himself. Clearly, Saputo smiles for a reason.
Of course, some people would like our chairman to address the fans with popular, if not rude, gestures, some would like Donadoni to set himself on fire in the middle of a square to protest against a penalty kick that we did not receive. Some would like to see Bigon and Di Vaio tear off their clothes and go into a frenzy when a goal is scored. Some would like to see Fenucci put his feet up on a FIGC table. But this will not happen. For some, the fact that all these things will not happen is a disgrace; when in reality, it is a brand. It is sellable, and therefore functional. Whether people like it or not, football is a business, and commercial laws rule it too – sometimes, even more so than other type of businesses.
At the moment, our most reachable goals are competing in the Champions League, and renovating the Stadium, although it is difficult to set a precise date for these events. They are reachable, if not this season, maybe in two or three years we will be able to start seeing some progress. Two or three years – not twenty or thirty. And, at that moment, our presence in the market will be more impactful, and greater economic benefits will ensue. This is an economic principle, not mere hope.
To be clear, someone like “Il Viperetta” Ferrero, the president of Sampdoria, works well for a busy, loud, and bustling port city, but not for Bologna. Bologna is keeping to its own, and that “its own” is also ours.