At the turn of the noughties, Venezia FC, the Italian club based out of the city of Venice, got bankrupt. In the decade that followed, it was relaunched twice but suffered the same fate on both occasions. Founded in the year 1905, the club has spent the majority of its history flitting between the first and second tier of the Italian football league.
They are not much different from the thousands of local clubs across the world that float just below the premier division of the league, thus unable to capture the public imagination. In the summer of 2015, an American consortium took a bold step of reviving the project.
Seven years later, not much has changed performance-wise. The club still waddles in the second division of the Italian League. But a thoughtful brand repositioning from the new owners has turned them into the world’s coolest football club. Be it their exotic aesthetic sense or their social media persona, the club, despite playing away from the glare of media and fanfare, has managed to carve a unique identity for itself.
At the heart of the club’s renaissance is the originality, which is best embodied by its Twitter account. Always witty but never edgy, Venezia FC adopts a no-holds-barred approach and rarely thinks twice about confronting anyone. A few weeks ago when the pizza chain Domino’s shut down its operation in Italy, the club responded, “Who thought Italians didn’t have pizza under control?”
When the NFT fever was conquering European football, Venezia FC was very upfront about not subjecting its fans to the newest scam in the town. They wrote, “Venice will sink before we subject you to NFTs.”
But perhaps none of these will match the coolness quotient of their manager, Ivan Javorčić, who, in one of his interviews, mentioned how he thinks of sufferings in football through the lens of Fyodor Dostoevsky.
“I follow the thinking of the Stoics, a very realistic approach to everyday life. I grew up in the former Yugoslavia with the influence of the great Russian writers. I like Dostoevsky’s realism, how he approaches suffering,” said Javorčić.
Before the ongoing season kicked off on 14 August, they complained about the copyright law that restricts them from posting match highlights before an eight-day period.
“Greed and stupidity chipping away at the game’s soul has no end, but here’s a special edition from Serie B: We’re not allowed to share match highlights until eight days later, by which time we’ll have already played another match. We’d delve into the logic but there is none,” read a tweet from Venezia FC.
They came up with a savage trick to bypass this restriction imposed by Italian Football. They made an alternative account, posted the match highlights from the day before in a black & white filter, played around with the caption to make it sound like the clip is from the past, and then retweeted from the official account.