The F1 fan base of Napolitano has been left heartbroken after news emerged that his team was being sold to a Japanese group.
The sale of the Italian club, which had won five consecutive Serie A titles from 1992 to 2002, to the Japanese consortium, led by Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Corp, is expected to bring about the final stage of the deal, with a sale expected in the first quarter of next year.
Napoli fans are already mourning the death of a team captain, who was killed in a car crash during the 2002-03 season.
The death of Stefano Farias, who had been playing for the Napoli youth team, was reported by the newspaper La Repubblica, but has since been denied by Napoli.
The club’s president, Roberto Domenicali, has since written a letter to the Napolitani media saying that the death was not related to the sale, and that it was an accident and not suicide.
Farias’ funeral was held at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Naples on Sunday, and it was attended by representatives from his family.
The club’s website said the funeral would be attended by “all of the team, players, staff, fans, friends and family”.
The club also announced that Domenici, who has been in charge since 2011, would be stepping down as the club’s chairman at the end of the current season.
“It’s time for a new coach,” said Domenico.
“It’s been difficult for a long time.
I’m sure the fans are still angry.
But I have to go.”