Serie A: Cagliari lawyer Mattia Grassani pleads for stadium demolition turnaround

Cagliari: Have had problems with home ground

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Cagliari lawyer Mattia Grassani has urged Sardinian authorities not to carry out plans to demolish the Serie A club's controversial Is Arenas stadium.

The Sardinian club's president, Massimo Cellino, remains in custody at Buoncammino prison as police continue to investigate alleged attempted embezzlement and fraudulent misrepresentation surrounding the unfinished stadium, where Cagliari have struggled to host home games throughout the season.

It is reported in Italy that Cellino only used temporary permits to build the 16,200-seater stadium in Quartu Sant'Elena while involving mayor Mauro Contini - who is also under arrest - in allegedly misappropriating council funds to help finance the construction.

La Nuova Sardegna newspaper suggested the Is Arenas, which lies close to the Montelargius national park, could even face demolition but Grassani is urging caution.

He told the Corriere dello Sport: "In terms of president Cellino's case I am only involved with the aspects relating to the Is Arenas, but I am sure the president will come out of this clean.

"Unfortunately it's difficult to build new stadia in Italy. The buildings are 99 per cent public buildings and modernising or building a private structure is not simple.

"Cellino has tried to do so in via crucis as he has had to fight against bureaucracy.

"If Cagliari cannot complete the last leg of the season at the Is Arenas it will be a defeat for all of sport and demolishing the structure would be a mistake.

"I am convinced that Cellino will succeed in proving that he is not involved in this matter. The president's legal representatives are making a request for him to be released today."

Cagliari's struggle against the authorities first became apparent when the Lega Serie A ordered the club to host Serie A rivals Roma behind closed doors in September.

Cellino instead defied the order and invited season-ticket holders to attend regardless, forcing the abandonment of the fixture as Roma were awarded a 3-0 walkover victory.