Football

Palermo drop from Serie A after years of instability

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Zamparini is famed for hiring and firing coaches (©GettyImages)
Zamparini is famed for hiring and firing coaches (©GettyImages).

The managerial merry-go-round might typically start around October time in the Premier League, but in Serie A it starts much earlier - especially at a club who have had more managers in the past decade than Manchester United have had in their entire club history, spanning over 130 years.

The club in question is Unione Sportiva Città di Palermo - or Palermo, as they are commonly called.

Ever since Maurizio Zamparini acquired the club in the summer of 2002, there have been a whopping 26 managerial changes, with several managers managing the club on more than one occasion.

The crazy era of Zamparini all started in the summer of 2002, when he bought the club from Franco Sensi for €15M, with only one thing in his mind: bringing Palermo back to Serie A.

His aim was accomplished in just two years, as Palermo won promotion to the top flight for the first time in 31 years, for the 2004/05 season.

Whilst many thought that they would struggle in the top flight after an absence of more than three decades, they managed to surprise everyone, as they finished sixth and qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time in the club's history. 

But, at the end of a promising campaign, the real story was not on the pitch, but off it. Their superb start to life in Serie A sparked a mad rush of managers trying to maintain the stiff standards set by the owner.

Whilst most managers are given at least a year or two to make their mark on the side, at Palermo they were awarded no such luxury; some, as Serse Cosmi found out, had no more than four games, to prove their worth.

Whilst the constant chopping and changing of managers was going on, Palermo still managed to stay in Serie A, but only just. Until this year, when the lack of continuity finally came back to bite them, as they slipped back into the second tier, after nine seasons in Serie A.

With Gennaro Gattuso at the helm, Palermo will be hoping to bounce back immediately. But only time will tell whether Gattuso lasts the season, or falls by the wayside, just like 20 before him. 

 

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Topics:
Football
European News
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