Floriana president Riccardo Gaucci insists that his priority in this moment is to ensure his team retains its top flight status and added that he will address comments made by former club chief Johann Said at the end of the season in front of the Greens fans.

Gaucci was reacting to a post made by Said on his Facebook page where he said that despite being approached by many Floriana fans to help the club in this difficult moment he felt that it was not the right moment to create further problems at the club.

“This is not the moment to create any more instability at the club,” Said wrote.

“The priority at the moment is that the club retains it place in the Premier League. It’s important that all the fans remain close to the team so that they go through the last eight matches in the best possible way. Therefore, club unity above everything.

“I will promise you that the issues that have been put into my attention will not be forgotten.

“The time will come when these will be addressed from groups of renowned persons that are promising their commitment in favour of Floriana FC.

“The same goes for the allegations against me that now I am in a position to answer with facts.

“My friends, the decisions on who should lead the club should be taken at the end of the season during the annual general meeting, like it happens in every club or society. There it will be all the members to decide if there needs to be a change or not.”

Gaucci reacted to Said’s post by saying that he is not surprised that Said has made his voice heard now that the team is passing through a difficult time.

“It’s no strange that Johann Said is calling out all the Floriana fans right now that we are passing through a difficult time,” Gaucci said.

“He and his clan had been making life difficult for us for the last five years. I just want to remind everyone that just one month after I took charge of the team Said made a garnishee order of around 400,000 euros against the club and that shows the person he is.

“We are still paying this sum plus the interests.

“But I will address the allegations being made by him and the people around him at the end of the season in front of the club fans where I will present the necessary documentation to prove my arguments.

“During the last five years I have done everything possible to put the club back on a solid footing and we managed to reduce significantly the club deficit we found when I took charge.

“Added to that we have a project that is awaiting the approval of the government, throught the Law of Commercialisation of Sports Facilities that will no doubt guarantee a sound future for the club.”

The Floriana president said that his main concern at the moment was to ensure the

team keeps its place in the Premier League next season.

Gaucci said that he felt betrayed by his players following the team’s abject showing in the 1-0 defeat to bottom-placed Qormi last weekend.

The result left the Greens firmly engaged in a relegation battle as they are currently tenth in the standings on 18 points, just one ahead of Senglea Athletic who currently occupy the play-out spot.

“I think that at the moment the most important thing is to focus on the team’s fight to retain its Premier League status,” Gaucci said.

“It hurts me to see the team in such a low position in the standings.

“Floriana’s first part of the season was very poor. I admit that I made some bad decisions on some players I brought to the club. Things didn’t go well and we changed our coach three times

“In January I have again reshuffled the team as I felt that we needed to pick up our performances and the first indications were very positive. The team produced some excellent displays against top teams such as ─Žamrun Spartans, Sliema Wanderers and Birkirkara.

“But then came the game against Qormi and the team simply failed to perform.

“I can understand the frustration of our fans and surely the players must take full responsibility. I expect a strong reaction for our next match against Senglea Athletic.

“That match against Senglea will be like a Champions League final for us. It will be very difficult as we are going to face the most in-form team in the division but we have to deliver and now it’s the time for the players to show how much they have the club colours to their heart.”

Toughest campaign

Gaucci said that this was without doubt the toughest football campaign in his career but he has no plans to abandon ship.

“I have been involved in football for the past 25 years and I can assure you that I have never experienced such a difficult campaign,” the Italian entrepreneur said.

“Everything seems to be going against us but all these problems make me even more determined to continue to work hard for the club and the fans who have always been behind us.

“I can assure everyone that I am fully committed ensure we end the season in the right way and ensure that the club will have a better future.”


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