Founded in 1920 by merging Football Club Empoli with Unione Sportiva Empolese, the side went through several changes before finally making its Serie B debut in 1983. Within two years they had succeeded in climbing to the top flight for the first time in their history, but following a creditable 13th place finish in Serie A, the club slid to two consecutive relegations and was mired in Serie C again.
The new era began with their only trophy to date –the 1995-96 Serie C Coppa Italia –and two promotions on the trot for their return to Serie A in 1997 under Luciano Spalletti. It proved to be difficult terrain for a side that had never stayed in the top flight for more than two seasons consecutively. Appointing Mario Somma was a gamble that paid off after their 2004 relegation, as within 12 months he had returned Empoli to Serie A.
Two top half finishes under Gigi Cagni took the Tuscan club to its first ever participation in European competition, but they could not sustain the run and were relegated in 2008. Two play-off defeats followed, before last term’s second place finish and return to the top table of Italian football.
Image source: empolicalcio.net