Cagliari Club Focus: These days it is hard to find out just who has form in Sardinia
Cagliari slipped up at Bologna this weekend in a game they did not deserve to win; however, it was once again overshadowed by their jailed President and his bizarre antics. In a game where the Sardinian players were aching for a turn around, their leader was in the midst of performing an about face of epic proportions.
Last week, President Cellino had been jailed for alleged financial irregularities in relations to Cagliari’s stadium. In layman’s terms he has been accused of fraud and embezzlement of funds. Just before the game however it came to light that he maybe allowed to leave prison and go into house arrest which in most people’s eyes is a favourite alternative. Surely he would take this up? Surely he would just go quietly and prepare his defence? Did I mention that this is Cagliari?
“President Cellino has decided he will leave only when his total innocence is recognised, as he has done nothing wrong,” insisted lawyer Benedetto Balleri. “The President is in good spirits and confirms what he has said from the start. He refused to go out on house arrest.” Impressive and dramatic stuff, almost Hollywood like, in fact so steadfast was he in his defiance that just maybe this man was innocent, maybe he was a victim taking the moral high ground.
At the same time his team were getting soundly beaten and it was for many hard to not have at least some empathy. This did not last long. Cellino at 16.00GMT then managed to do a complete you turn and quite quickly changed his mind before scarpering from the Buoncammino prison this afternoon. Maybe he wanted to catch the second half? In fact it disappointingly was reported that Cellino will take his house arrest in a rehab and recovery centre in Villamassargia. The martyrdom would be contained to the football pitch.
It is all too often that when talking about Cagliari the sentence “there was also a football match being played” is used. Cagliari had been impressive in recent games dragging themselves out of a black hole that due to the off field problems around them threatened to ruin. Maybe this was a blip but on the day they were out played and succumbed to goals from Alessandro Diamanti, Saphir Taider and Cristian Pasquato. The goals were that good that it just went to show that the day belonged deservedly to Bologna.
After the game Bologna Coach Stefano Pioli said “Our fans suffer, but every now and then we give them wonderful sensations. Our supporters know that. We dedicate the victory to Lucio Dalla.” Ivo Pulga was both upbeat and honest saying that “It was an off day after seven games played at a high level that had launched us back up the table. Bologna deserved the win.”
Trying to look forward off the pitch for the Sardinians is impossible. For all we know the kit man may end up being involved in the Italian election campaign or even make his debut for PSG, nothing would surprise anymore. On the pitch a home game (almost certainly behind closed doors, or perhaps in another continent who knows) will be played against Sampdoria. Games follow thick and fast with Siena, Fiorentina and Catania all proving tricky but winnable. Their owner may be out of jail but Cagliari are not but by the time they play the Nerazzurri in the middle of April, results in the afore mentioned games could see them safe.