What Enzo Maresca's final words at Leicester City reveal to new manager

Enzo Maresca on the touchline at the MKM Stadium during Leicester City's draw at Hull
-Credit: (Image: George Wood/Getty Images)

When Leicester City’s new manager takes over, they will be looking to build on the success of Enzo Maresca. And before they get their feet under the desk at Seagrave, there’s plenty they can learn about the club through Maresca’s final words in charge. Here’s some key quotes from the Italian on the hot topics.

Maresca on finances and points deductions

Any prospective new manager knows they’re entering a club that’s not in the best position off the pitch. City have been charged by the Premier League over an alleged breach of Profit and Sustainability rules (PSR), and the punishment is likely to be a points deduction.

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Maresca initially avoided answering questions on potential sanctions and the club’s finances, insisting that his job was to coach the players and that he would leave the rest to the lawyers. But speaking in Italy a couple of weeks ago, he gave some bad news.

“The relegation has left a huge economic hole and unfortunately we risk sanctions,” Maresca told Gazzetta dello Sport. “There is the possibility that for the next season they will take away some points, as happened this year at Everton and Nottingham Forest.”

Maresca on transfers and player sales

Not only are City waiting to hear of the ramifications of their possible breach for the three-year cycle to 2023, they’re also trying to avoid more PSR problems in the future. That means selling players before the accounts close at the end of this month, and limited transfer business to prepare for taking on the Premier League.

Maresca said a few weeks ago, on the possibility of strengthening the squad, that “obviously the market will be low-key”. But on the matter of departing players, he was not resigned to his squad being weakened.

He said after the final game of the season: “If we lose important players, it’s important that we bring in important players. It’s not a problem if we need to sell players to solve any problems. But it’s important that we can then bring players in.”

Maresca on internal communication

One topic likely to be brought up by any prospective manager with the club’s hierarchy is the issue around internal communication. After City clinched the Championship title, Maresca very quickly requested sit-down talks with the club’s directors over matters he “didn’t like”.

They can be summed up as a lack of communication. Maresca was frustrated that he was not told until the January window had opened that City needed to sell before he could buy. And he was especially displeased by the lack of openness on the club’s financial situation, the Italian claiming he was not warned of the possibility of PSR breaches.

Maresca did get those talks after the season finished and it seemed those matters were addressed. But that they were issues in the first place will be on the mind of a new manager.

He said in May: “Nobody mentioned to me in January that we would not be able to bring in players. The same happened about the financial fair play. Nobody from the club mentioned to me when I signed that it could be a problem. I think it’s not the right thing to do. I think it will be a moment to sit and to understand why they didn’t mention it to me.

“I’m in charge of this club in terms of being the manager, I need things to work well. For me, there are things we need to clarify and we need to modify.

“I’m not asking for more control. I’m asking just to be able to do my job that I’m being paid for. No more than that. It’s just things that happen that I didn’t like during the season. You sit and you clarify.”

Maresca on Premier League expectations

Although impressed with the hard work of his team and how quickly they adapted to his tactics, Maresca was not getting ahead of himself. While there have been several sides who have come up from the Championship and immediately finished in the top half of the Premier League, City will not be one of them, he insisted. Any manager coming in has to expect a scrap at the bottom.

Maresca said: “The target is not the Premier League, the target is not the FA Cup. The target has to be to maintain, to avoid the relegation.

“Overall, 90 per cent of the time, clubs that get promoted, the year after they are involved in the relegation battle. But it’s normal. That’s why next year we need to understand our target, which is to avoid relegation.

“Next season, it’s quite clear we need to understand our target is to try to avoid relegation as soon as possible. This is the most important thing.”

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