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Team Focus: Palermo

Posted by Aymen Gheddai Wednesday, February 10, 2021

After World War II, Palermo constantly bounced up and down between the various leagues in Italy. Due to numerous changes at the board level and managerial position, a sense of stability was seriously lacking, and as a result the club struggled to find its own identity, enduring spells as far down as Serie C2.

In the summer of 2002, Maurizio Zamparini bought Palermo from then owner and former AS Roma chairman, Franco Sensi. A majority of the success Palermo has since enjoyed is due in large part to Zamparini, an Italian businessman who previously owned Venezia football club. Zamparini has acquired a reputation as an owner with a short fuse, specifically with regard to his coaches, but he seems to have a great eye for talent, as displayed by numerous signings achieved over the years.

Luca Toni and Amauri made their names at Palermo, while Fabio Simplicio and Fabrizio Miccoli currently play for the club. Zamparini also has a reputation for finding bright young talents. In recent years he has signed Edinson Cavani, Simon Kjaer, and Javier Pastore. It is no surprise that bigger clubs currently hover over the Rosanero, trying to poach their younger stars.

Success is relative, and at a club like Palermo, it has been largely determined by top ten finishes ever since their return to Serie A in 2004. The issue for Palermo now is whether they are content with their current level of success or whether they can push for more. The system in place that sees Palermo build solid teams and finish within the top eight could change with a new mindset. The club could benefit by persisting with one solid coach, instead of using Zamparini’s method of coach rotation. This managerial stability would likely result in the players feeling like they are part of a long-term project, which would in turn do two things: first, top players at the club would be likely to remain, and second, keeping young talent at the club would be easier. If that were to occur, Palermo would not be a “feeder club” for the likes of Juventus, Inter, and Milan, but rather a more serious force to be reckoned with in Italian football. As a result, the team profile could be drastically different in years to come.

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