Saturday January 19 2013
The Madness of King Zamp

With reports that Gian Piero Gasperini has two games to save his job, Alex Mott asks when will the madness at Palermo end?

“We are all very worried,” exclaimed Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini earlier this week. “I didn’t think we would be left like this, finding ourselves in this situation. I shall be closer than ever to the team and the Coach.”

It’s the sort of quote that would strike fear into any tactician in European football, but when you’re Gian Piero Gasperini and you’re in charge at the Rosanero, it’s perhaps to be expected.

Reports on Tuesday claimed that the former Genoa man has two more games to save his job at the Stadio Renzo Barbera, having been brought in last September as the man to guide the Sicilian side towards a better, brighter future.

It hasn’t quite worked out like that for the 54-year-old, who has claimed just three wins in his 17 League matches so far. As a result, Palermo currently sit in 19th place in Serie A with matches against Lazio and Cagliari over the next couple of weeks potentially proving the end of his indifferent reign.

It’s a familiar situation for fans of the Aquile who have grown used to, and tired of, the constant tinkering from behind the scenes. Since his takeover of the team in 2002, Zamparini has overseen 25 managerial changes, with the likes of Francesco Guidolin and Stefano Colantuono returning for more than one stint in the dugout.

It’s this never-ending, revolving-door policy which has seen the club reach a nadir of disappointment on the pitch with the threat of relegation looming large over the Sicilians.

At the dawn of the Millennium, the Friuli businessman promised trophies galore and spectacular nights hosting European football. In 11 years, all the club have to show for his investment is a Serie B title win and a Coppa Italia runners-up medal.

Players such as Javier Pastore and Edinson Cavani have come and gone, and although the club can’t be blamed for cashing in on their star names, the money received from those transfers can’t fix the incessant turmoil that is eating away at the club.

A new sporting director was brought in this season to try and herald a new age at Palermo, but no matter how many good signings Pietro Lo Monaco makes, what good are they without a solid structure to work within?

The arrivals of Andrea Dossena, Salvatore Aronica and potentially Stefano Sorrentino make perfect sense – dependable pros who have been around the Serie A block. But when they turn up to the Sicilian capital with a Coach they know will be gone in a month or so, it can’t be good for anyone.

Zamparini insists on treating the team like his play-thing, with which he can do whatever he likes. “Gasperini has to stop complaining that the squad is inadequate and we need reinforcements,” he said to La Repubblica.  “The squad is not the problem. In my view, this was a good team in the past and today we are working to make it even more competitive.”

Of course, three wins in 20 matches is not a record to boast about. Gasperini has to take some of the blame for what’s been a turgid campaign so far. But with a man constantly behind his back, plotting a future without him, how exactly can the tactician work properly?

Changing Coach hasn’t been the answer in the past, isn’t the answer now and won’t be the answer in the future. Perhaps it’s time, after just over a decade as King-maker, that Zamparini cuts his losses and looks for a new buyer at Palermo. For the good of the club.

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
Zampa may need to go but you would be hard pressed to find a person with as much passion as he has for Palermo. Zampa has stated that the club is indeed for sale and the appropriate buyer/price has not been found. Arab investors came close to putting up funds but the general nature of Serie A chaos scared them off. The majority of Palermo's years in Serie A have been spent in the upper top half of the table. Like Palermo, his reign has been bittersweet.
on the 25th January, 2013 at 10:27am
I love Zampa
on the 22nd January, 2013 at 8:43pm
As Stefan noted, there is no reason that Palermo couldn't be -or have been- as good as Udinese. Zamparini has ruined the club and the work of it's tacticians and directors. He talented managers like Walter Sabatini and Delio Rossi at the club. players like Miccoli, Cavani, Pastore, Balzaretti, Sirigu, Kjaer, Cassani, Nocerino, who were all playing at their best.. but he always sells his players immediately and for half their worth.
on the 22nd January, 2013 at 2:44pm
look at what udinese have achieved, and compare them to palermo. udinese are what palermo coud have achieved had they had a sensibe president.
on the 22nd January, 2013 at 10:01am
As a Venezia fan, I hate Zamparini with all my heart, so hopefully something will happen to him soon.

Always said, lots of money,no brain!

He's the Paris Hilton of football!
on the 20th January, 2013 at 6:25pm
This is silly. For the first time ever zamparini has laid off, thanks to lo Monaco! BUT look where palermo is. Struggling. Gasparini has had enough time to show a better turn of points than he has. The team look lacklustred at times with ball watching and slow back tracking. I used to resent Zamparini but if there has been anytime for change the axe must at least clip Gasp's grey hair!!

The fall point for Palermo was loosing Rossi. A slide that Palermo has never recovered from.

Forza Palermo
on the 20th January, 2013 at 5:39pm
Ally, good point re:Arsenal. The board are just concerned about making money, and whilst they charge a fortune for tickets, merchandise, and 13 pounds for fish & chips, (and the fans lap it up), things will just continue as they are. It is sad juxtaposition: you have the corks being popped in the boardrooms, celebrating their profits; & on the other side, you have the fans being taunted by their rivals for a lack of silverware & star player departures. They are being mugged!
on the 20th January, 2013 at 11:05am
Zamp is the problem. There have been good times,, players and coaches, but no stability. Even if he had Prandelli, he'd fire them for saying the wrong thing at a press conference. It's difficult to understand why he can't see he's the problem.
Alternatively, there was the argument in England about the importance of club stability but look at Wenger's trophy cabinet compared to Chelsea's with their changes...not exactly a straight comparison between EPL and Serie A but you get the picture.
on the 20th January, 2013 at 12:55am
Zamp is clearly the problem. he has got to go. his interferance will see my beloved palermo in serie b next season.

Italian soccer un general leaves too much power in the owners hands. the coach should have the squad control, not owners. either that or zamo should coach fir a few yrs and then we will see palerno relegated to c div
on the 20th January, 2013 at 12:12am
I second Dan Giambrone's opinion!

Zamp is the problem and the madness will stop when he sells the club!
on the 19th January, 2013 at 1:36pm
Zamp is the problem, the same goes for the Genoa president, and the the Southampton chairman. Whilst these people are in charge of their clubs, there will not be any continuity, consistency, and it is the fans that will ultimately suffer. These foolish chairman create the sort of staff turnover that you expect from a fast-food joint. Palermo and Genoa could be great clubs, if had the right kind of people in charge.
on the 19th January, 2013 at 11:56am
Hopefully these idiots will go down.
on the 19th January, 2013 at 9:58am

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