After 12 long years in the wilderness, Genoa returned to Serie A in 2007. It is where the oldest club in Italy belong, after all. Founded in 1893 as the Genoa Cricket and Athletic Club by a group of British ex-pats, it started out as a haven for those wishing to practice these ‘new’ sports.
In 1899 James Richardson Spensley prompted the change to Genoa Cricket and Football Club, considering their team had already won two titles. They dominated the Italian game with all nine Scudetti won before 1924, but recent years have been considerably leaner.
Their worst moments came with relegation to Serie C in 1969-70, but Coach Arturo Silvestri sparked a double promotion leap back to the top flight. They bounced between the two Divisions for several years and had a revival in the mid-1990s that included a fourth place finish and a UEFA Cup semi-final spot. But it all went wrong in 1995 with a play-off defeat to Padova followed by years of financial problems and heartache for the fans.
Patron Enrico Preziosi thought he had taken the Grifone back to Serie A in 2005, but instead they were sent down to Serie C for match-fixing. Just as the first time they touched this Division, Genoa notched up two straight promotions.