The enthusiasm expressed by the Viola at the start of 2009 quickly went awry, starting with Mutu's injury during a game against Torino on January 12. Player transfers, injuries and a series of referee contestations have put the Viola on a downward slide, resulting in a mainly lackluster performance and far too little points acquired in the Serie A over the last two weeks.
VIOLA TRANSFERS. Florence bid a final, heart-felt farewell to striker Giampoalo Pazzini, who moved to Genoa's Sampdoria, where he hopes to get more time on the pitch. The Genova-based team bought Pazzini's contract for nine million euro. As part of the deal, they received forward Emiliano Bonazzoli from Sampdoria on loan. Deciding not to hold an official press conference following his decision to leave AC Fiorentina, Pazzini instead chose the pages of local daily Corriere Fiorentinoas the platform where he said goodbye to Viola fans: ‘Thank you fans for the four years I have spent in Florence. A part of my heart will always remain Viola. See you on the pitch'. The Viola also announced the transfer of Argentinean forward Pablo Daniel Osvaldo to Bologna for seven million euro.
VIOLA CITY. Fiorentina club chief Andrea Della Valle has announced that he plans to follow through with the construction of a new stadium for the Viola. ‘Nothing is being built for future generations in Florence. We proposed an important project for the city. Take for example the fact that there is no Museum of Modern Art in Florence. I think this is crazy...Regardless of the multiple problems we have encountered with Viola City, I am not abandoning this project'. Meanwhile, members of the local administration have been in heated debate over where the new stadium should be located. Initially, many proposed the Campo di Marte area but new constructions in that area would be difficult because of the railway. Two locations are being discussed: the first is in the Castello area, close to the city center, and the second is in the Osmannoro area. A decision is expected in late January.
REFEREE MISTAKES. After a series of recent mistakes made by referees, Viola club president Andrea Della Valle is intent on taking action. Bad calls were made in previous losses against Lecce and Milan, but after the game played against Juventus on January 24, in which a goal by Alberto Gilardino was incorrectly disallowed for offside, and a penalty was denied for a foul on Jovetic, the Della Valle bitterly lashed out against the referee in a televised post-match wrap up. ‘I give my compliments to the players who showed they can compete with the big teams, but I am truly undignified...This has been going on for quite a few games now, these are clear situations that even a child would see. I will take some action, we have reached the limit, we deserve respect. [Referee Pierluigi] Collina has to explain this attitude by the referees. My team was constructed to compete at high levels; we cannot be penalized like this all the time. I am offended for ourselves and the city'.