Valencia fans are following Tottenham supporters’ lead a year ago by demonstrating against the appointment of Gennaro Gattuso as their new boss… with angry fans chanting #NoToGattuso over historically controversial comments against women and homosexuality
- Gennaro Gattuso has been out of management since leaving Napoli last year
- Tottenham fans launched the #NoToGattuso campaign to stop him coming in
- That was successful and now the Valencia fans are trying to do the same
- Valencia are looking for a new manager with Gattuso seen as the front runner
- Fans are upset over historically controversial comments Gattuso is defending
Angry Valencia fans have taken the baton from Tottenham supporters as they try to stop Gennaro Gattuso’s appointment as manager.
Supporters are angered at the prospect of appointing Gattuso, who is reportedly a front-runner, to replace Jose Bordalas at Mestalla this summer.
Fan anger stems from controversial comments made in Gattuso’s past that were interpreted as sexist and homophobic.
Valencia fans have launched a #NoToGattuso campaign on social media to prevent former AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso (left) from being named their new manager
Fans are rallying in response to historic comments by Gattuso, which he has since come out and vigorously defended in Italian media
In 2008, Gattuso, now 44, faltered when addressing the issue of same-sex marriage, saying that he believed “marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Fast forward to 2013 and Gattuso was accused of sexism when, following the appointment of Barbara Berlusconi to a managerial position at AC Milan, he said he “didn’t see any women working in football”.
It was widespread anger at these historic comments that led to Tottenham fans getting trending #NoToGattuso as the north London club replaced Jose Mourinho and eventually opted for Nuno Espirito Santo.
Valencia fans are now hoping they can make the same impact.
Valencia fans have a history of coming together to bring about change at the club
Gattuso senses that déjà vu could prevent him from getting another job and he firmly defended the above comments in an interview with Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport on Saturday.
“My story speaks for itself,” he said. “Am I racist? am i homophobic? am i xenophobic? am i sexist? Have we gone insane? It’s time to calm down.’
Gattuso went on to explain exactly what he meant by his comment on the appointment of Berlusconi, daughter of then-club president Silvio.
“So let’s start by explaining that the phrase about women, uttered at the time Barbara Berlusconi entered football, was meant as a defense of (Adriano) Galliani’s work, which was dismissed harshly.”
Galliani and Berlusconi were meant to work together in a dual role, which Gattuso saw as a disrespect for Galliani.
Gazzetta dello Sport also polled Gattuso on a 2013 comment when he claimed that booing white players was less important than black players.
The Spanish side are in the process of looking for a coach to replace the absent Jose Bordalas
His Milan team-mate Kevin-Prince Boateng left the pitch after being racially abused, before Gattuso said: ‘How many times have white players been booed? It happened to me, but I don’t give it much importance.’
In response, he said: “I’m a racist? Then why did I (Tiemoue) sign Bakayoko when I was at Napoli? I’ve never had anything against black players, many of whom were my teammates and friends.
“I’ve built my career with hard work, dedication and sweat. Nobody gave me anything. And I will no longer allow anyone to interfere with my work with terrible accusations.’
Valencia fans are trying to trend their campaign in Spain, although Gattuso emerges as front runner to replace Bordalas.