Friday November 27 2020
Mattioli: 'SPAL should have kept Semplici'

In hindsight, SPAL President Walter Mattioli wishes he would have completed Serie A 2019-20 with Leonardo Semplici at the helm.

The Biancazzurri were relegated from Serie A last term and currently sit fourth in the second tier, two points behind leaders Salernitana and Empoli.

On February 10, SPAL announced that they had parted ways with Semplici, who had taken the club from Serie C to the top flight and then kept them there for three seasons.

Patron Mattioli later appointed Gigi Di Biagio in an attempt to save their place in Serie A, but Pasquale Marino has replaced the former Italy U21 coach since their return to Serie B.

Davide Vagnati was the sporting director in SPAL’s successful years after they merged with Giacomense eight years ago and helped them on their way to the elite in Italy.

Vagnati moved to Torino in May 2020 and Mattioli said he never told the former Biancazzurri director how ‘sad’ he was about him leaving.

“I have to thank both of them for what they have done for SPAL,” Mattioli said at a press conference.

“I was very sorry about Davide’s farewell, but I never told him. That’s because he has always been a point of reference at the club.

“We have always worked side by side, but when he told me didn’t want to stay and targeted a more ambitious path, I couldn’t stop him.

“On the last year, I think that the mistakes, as well as the merits, must be divided among everyone. There’s not one single culprit.

“But I want to say one thing: When I started last season with Semplici, I shouldn’t have replaced him with Di Biagio

“I should have finished the championship with him. I think this was my and my advisors’ mistake. In short, we paid for mistakes in an unfortunate year.”

SPAL continue with an away game against Virtus Entella on Monday and are currently unbeaten in six games across all competitions, with four wins on the bounce in Serie B.