As Palermo confirm Bortolo Mutti as the team’s third Coach of the season, Maurizio Zamparini reveals the reasons for the change.
After Devis Mangia was relieved of his duties following a third consecutive defeat in all competitions at the weekend, Mutti was widely regarded as the favourite to take over. The news of his appointment was confirmed on Monday evening in a brief statement on the club’s official website.
“Palermo announces that it has entrusted Bortolo Mutti to take charge as first team Coach of the Rosanero. The new Coach will be presented tomorrow.”
It is in fact a return to the Renzo Barbera for Mutti. The 57-year-old coached the Sicilian outfit through the 2001-02 campaign before finding himself out of then incoming President Maurizio Zamparini’s plans. Completing his takeover of Palermo in July 2002, Zamparini opted not to renew Mutti’s contract and instead go with a different Coach, Ezio Glerean.
Mutti, Palermo’s fifth different Coach in the calendar year of 2011, spent part of his playing career as a striker with Catania and has also led fellow Sicilian rivals Messina as a Coach.
As the news of Mutti’s confirmation at the club came through, so too did comments from Zamparini explaining his reasoning behind dismissing Mangia.
“Mangia was a gamble, he gave so much but is still in his apprenticeship. He committed, like all young people, some mistakes. I’m sure he will become an excellent Coach.”
Initial rumours as to why Zamparini opted to sack Mangia centred on the significance of losing the Sicilian derby to Catania at the weekend and on the Coach’s post-match comments that Palermo controlled the game, which Zamparini reportedly did not agree with.
“He lost the pulse of the situation with a team that did not follow him anymore. He was under great pressure, perhaps greater than himself.
“We must remember the club’s size. I was very sorry, but I feared that we would drop into Serie B. At the moment, the team is one of the worst. I have acted out of fear.
“The team has had psychological setbacks and where other teams grew, we did not. Currently, we have no soul.
“I chose Mutti as he is a Coach that brings peace of mind. Mangia was without several important players through injury, but more players, like [Ezequiel] Munoz, [Armin] Bacinovic and [Mauro] Cetto, have not played because of him.
“If we have arrived at this point, it is not just the fault of the Coach, but also of the club.
In Zamparini’s nine years at the club he has hired and sacked Coaches on more than 20 occasions.
“I say to the fans to stay calm and have confidence in my work. I’m working like crazy for them. The real fans are seen in difficult moments like this. In football there are ups and downs.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £11,000 to be won monthly!