Why Palermo Are the Worst Club to Coach in World Football
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A week ago, Palermo made an official communication on their website that they had hired Giuseppe Sannino to be the new coach of the club.
Now, a coaching change at this stage of the campaign would not be particularly out of the norm were it not the fifth managerial appointment of the season.
But then again, this situation is nothing new when it comes to eccentric owner Maurizio Zamparini, a man who already fired five different managers during the 1994-95 season with the now-defunct Calcio Venezia.
Zamparini has really set the new standard when it comes to outlandish owner behavior. Look no further than this season, as his Palermo side is rotting at the bottom of the Serie A table with a relegation to the second division all but booked.
It's impossible to even begin to build a semblance of team chemistry if the coaches are being changed as much as his dirty laundry, and the usual stamp of authority that any coach would hope to instill within his dressing room is nearly impossible when the players are so used to a frantic managerial merry-go-round.
In the 26 years that Zamparini has been a club president, he has changed 41 coaches. 41. Let that resonate for a second. Palermo have changed more coaches this season—five—than they've won games—three.
Here is the managerial breakdown for this season: Giuseppe Sannino opened the campaign at the helm, but only lasted until September, when they brought in Gianpiero Gasperini.
Convert a month of coaching at Palermo into dog years, and you'll start seeing that Gasperini's four month reign of failure with the club was actually considered a respectable duration.
Adding to the chaos, likable GM Pietro Lo Monaco resigned, saying that it became impossible to work with Zamparini, as the owner wanted to do everything himself.
With the team languishing at the bottom of the table with no hope of salvation—after a bizarre January transfer window which brought in a slew of average Argentinians—Gasperini was fired in February in place of Alberto Malesani. It was a sacking which Zamparini said was due to the players not being able to get along with the former.
Confused yet? There's more.
Zampa became fed up with his new coach after two matches which produced only one point (which is actually a good record considering their season), and sacked Malesani (though he is still contracted to the club) in favor of Gasperini. Does that name ring a bell?
Apparently unable to rekindle a wary relationship with the players, Gasperini's second tenure in one season lasted only a few weeks as well, as the Giuseppe Sannino week-to-week era was given another go.
After Sannino's 2-0 loss to Milan—which owner Zamparini blamed on the referees—you'd imagine a sixth coaching change is in the works.
Will Sannino last until the end of the season?
It's no surprise that Palermo ultras were caught on video yelling expletives and kicking Zamparini's car when he drove out of a parking lot. They're also understandably unhappy that their beloved captain Fabrizio Miccoli has been phased out of Palermo after Zampa said he had given nothing to the team.
For a proud city in Sicily that loves its football, it's a shame to see their club turned into a running comedy for the rest of the world to mock.
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