OFI players fume after Gattuso’s latest departure

Disgruntled OFI Crete players have accused the club’s management of making fools of them after Gennaro Gattuso resigned as coach of the cash-strapped outfit for the second time in 10 weeks.

The Italian World Cup winner, who took over last June, had resigned from the post on October 26 due to financial and boardroom issues before being persuaded to stay on with the club.

But the problems appear to have persisted and prompted the 36-year-old to resign again.

“This season began with big dreams and aspirations but the incidents of the past few months have devalued our work and we are surviving on crumbs,» the players said in a statement on Thursday.

“With reference to the attitude of Mr Gennaro Gattuso who has left and said goodbye to OFI through a simple letter of resignation, we only express our disappointment and wonder about such a personal choice.

“We also want to express our discontent and indignation at being made fools of over the last months and wonder how some people can play with the history of OFI, with our careers and our lives. The team is in a bad state and the public should know about it.”

Gattuso told Italian newspaper La Stampa that he had not been paid fully and was helping the club financially out of his own pocket.

“This situation, combined with a partial transfer ban in January, the risk of a points deduction and the constant discovery of new and old debts makes it objectively impossible for a coach and his staff to work with the seriousness and serenity they require,» he said.

OFI has struggled for form and lie 15th in the 18-team Super League with 14 points from 15 matches.