25th February. By Danni Biggs.
The struggling Serie A Palermo has hired Uruguayan Diego Lopez as new coach, replacing Eugenio Corini and making it Palermo’s 11th coaching change in two seasons. Winning just 2 games out of 21, 42 year old Diego took on the job to revive the mighty Palermo who sits just two points above bottom of the table.
Eugenio Corini was named as Palermo’s coach in November 2016, their third that season in fact. After just 7 games in charge, Corini a former Palermo player himself took the decision to resign as coach after winning just one game in 7. His decision came just two days after Palermo were beaten 1-0 at home by Inter Milan. A pained and upset Corini said “This is a decision that I’ve taken with integrity and lucidness, which makes me feel great pain, but which seems the fairest and most logical option right now.”
Diego Lopez Signs Contract until June 30, 2018
The Uruguayan’s first match in charge was away against current third place Napoli, the Sunday following being appointed manager on Thursday. After just being in charge for 3 days Lopez and his squad grabbed a 1-1 draw against Italian giants. The game saw Ilija Nestorovski score a header from the center of the box into the bottom left corner of Napoli’s goal just 7 minutes in. Palermo went onto win their third game of the season in their following match against Crotone.
So, was replacing Corini with Diego Lopez the right decision for the fallen Palermo?
From their first win since mid-December Palermo unfortunately lost their following two games. Despite this the former Bologna coach is confident that he can turn things around in Sicily and revive the success of the team.
Lopez said when named as Palermo’s new gaffer “I think it’s a unique opportunity for me. We know it’s a complicated situation but I believe we can save ourselves. We need to work a lot and speak little. Palermo is an important footballing town. I met Maurizio Zamparini yesterday and he asked me to do a good job and said he believes in me.”
Frequent Managerial Chaos Leads to a Struggling Palermo
Palermo, once a well-known Serie A giant is now a real threat at being relegation candidates. Could the frequent change of managers and therefore change style of play be the reason why Palermo is in such bad form?
Different managers have their different managerial styles. With each new manager for Palermo will bring a new style of play, which they will try to develop in order to revive their lost success. With the club overseeing 60 coaching changes in the past 30 years the Palermo team will not have a recognized style of play. The frequent change of managers means the squad cannot develop a specific style of play, leaving the side undeveloped therefore more of a challenge for the team to regain their success. So, will Diego Lopez stick around long enough to develop his style of play with his squad? History shows that he might not even last until this summer.
Poor Form is Scaring off Potential Investors
Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini says that negotiations with Chinese investors to sell the club are progressing, although Palermo’s bad form is not helping. Gaining just 6 points in their last 12 games the club is currently sitting third from bottom. With a major threat of relegation Zamparini said “being third from bottom it can also determine the market value of the club because nobody would be interested in buying Palermo in Serie B.”
Palermo’s president Maurizio believes that it is necessary for the clubs future that he finds them a new owner.
“It’s been two years that I’ve been looking for somebody to take Palermo, not to make money but so that there can be investment in the club and some strong hands to carry the club forward. In the meantime, I will not be giving up.”
Since the 75-year-old president took over in 2002 the Palermo club has astoundingly overseen 35 coaching changes and since the business man took over the team gained promotion back to the Serie A the following season. It was first announced in the March that Maurizio Zamparini wanted to sell the club. “We need people who bring finance, who bring capital,” Zamparini added.
Maurizio says “We are in talks where they would invest 200 million euros”. As a minority investor he plans that 150 million would be spent on building Palermo’s own ground, 30 million on a new training center while the remaining 20 million would left as a “surprise”.
It is set that the Palermo president will become majority shareholders with him as a minority investor. He stated that they should have a final agreement with the Chinese via a state fund within the next two months. However this was mentioned in October 2016 and since Zamparini has admitted that negotiations are dragging on.