A number of AC Fiorentina players have started legal proceedings against the club's new board in an attempt to have their outstanding wages paid.
The troubled Florence club have been hit hard by financial problems in recent months and several leading players, including Francesco Toldo and Rui Costa, were sold in an attempt to stave off bankruptcy. Despite the repeated guarantees of former president Vittorio Cecchi Gori that the necessary liquid assets would become available in the short term, no solution has been found thus far.
'Nothing but understandable'
Ugo Poggi, who is likely to succeed Cecchi Gori as Fiorentina president, sympathises with the players' plight. "After so many promises and postponements, it is nothing but understandable that some of our players have taken this decision," Poggi said. "However, I would like to reassure them that I have spoken to Cecchi Gori and that he has guaranteed me personally that the outstanding payments will be made no later than 12 February and that all players' wages will be paid."
'I don't believe the promises'
Speaking after Friday's 2-0 defeat of Austrian first division club FC Kärnten in a friendly match at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, Alessandro Pierini, one of the Fiorentina players to have undertaken legal action against the club, said: "I have made the legal request because I don't believe the promises from the club any more. It's not only a question of money. The president has promised to pay two months [wages] but that's not enough for me."
'Stay faithful to the club'
Striker Predrag Mijatovic told uefa.com on Thursday that he and his team-mates had signed a document in which they said they would not begin legal proceedings against the club, instead vowing to concentrate on dragging Fiorentina out of the mire. "All players have signed a document dedicating themselves to play and save Fiorentina from dropping out of the first division," Mijatovic said. "The document asked players to stay faithful to the club and not to address the courts and media with requests for the club to reimburse their money. Players have also accepted to put all private problems in second place, so that these do not affect our performances."
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