Over the years we have seen dozens of Coaches, directors and players pass through the Stadio Renzo Barbera and very quickly go back out of a side exit once they realise the madhouse they’ve wandered into. Some like Francesco Guidolin and Gian Piero Gasperini agreed to return only to realise it was a horrible mistake, that the situation would never change. There are rumours the ‘new’ tactician could be Giuseppe Sannino, the man who started the season on this bench of infamy and was sacked after three games. President Maurizio Zamparini finally needs to drum up the courage to do what the fans have been begging for and fire one last person – himself.
A quick round-up: Palermo started the campaign with Sannino, who was fired in Week 3 to bring in Gasperini, who was sacked on February 4 for Alberto Malesani, then Gasp was recalled 19 days later and has now left “by mutual consent,” which might just be scrambling for a life-boat – and who can blame him? This means the Sicilians have had more management changes this season than wins in the table: Coaches win 4-3.
In 24 years at the helm of Venezia and Palermo, Zamparini has declared “You’re fired!” complete with dramatic pointy finger 51 times. That is an average of just over two sackings per season. It’s a wonder anyone still accepts his phone calls. Sannino even brilliantly pointed out it’s difficult for a Coach to get a year-long rent deal in Palermo, because the landlords are tired of seeing their tenants walk away within a few weeks.
Timing has never been Zampa’s strong point. He got rid of Sannino and director Giorgio Perinetti in September, then completely rebuild the team to Gasperini’s specifications with new chief Pietro Lo Monaco before sacking both four days after the transfer window had closed and bringing back Perinetti, whose favourite players had all just left. Is it any wonder the squad look like they are in a permanent daze?
Zamparini has sacked and blamed absolutely everyone for this litany of disasters, but if Palermo are propping up the Serie A table then it’s squarely down to him. Look in the mirror, Zampa, and you will know what you must do. For years he has repeatedly threatened to give up on football and sell the club because of refereeing errors, fines and the on-going stadium saga, but he never said he’d quit because he was destroying a perfectly good club. Yes, he has brought investment and took Palermo back to Serie A after a 30-year absence, but what good is being there if all this potential is ruined by his mood-swings?
I know my appeal will fall on deaf ears, of course. Zamparini will never acknowledge he is the problem. This is the man who insisted “the people of Palermo love me” straight after angry supporters spat at his car while he was given a police escort into the presentation of yet another new Coach.