Palermo make eighth coaching change of season

Reuters , Tuesday 12 Apr 2016

 Walter Novellino
Walter Novellino (Reuters)

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini announced a remarkable eighth coaching change of the season on Monday as Walter Novellino was given his marching orders after four matches in charge.

"People say I've gone mad but it's not true," said the 75-year-old who has overseen around 35 coaching changes since he took over at the club in 2002.

"I am the victim...of certain situations," he told Radio 24 in an interview.

Novellino, 62, took one point from his four outings, leaving the Sicilians in the Serie A relegation zone with six matches to play. Sunday's 3-0 home defeat by Lazio was clearly the last straw.

"Palermo are unbearable to watch," said Zamparini. "In the last two games the team has conceded six goals. It's not easy, I care for Novellino but he is getting on a bit.

"We've got a foot in Serie B and we don't have the mentality to survive."

Italian media said Davide Ballardini, one of the coaches already fired by Palermo this season, could return for a second spell, as did Giuseppe Iachini, who was the first victim in November and briefly returned in February.

The situation is so chaotic that there is no exact agreement on how many coaches Palermo have officially had although the general consensus is there have been eight changes.

These include Argentine Guillermo Barros Schelotto who was hired despite not having a UEFA licence and took on a supervisory role from the stands before returning home to Buenos Aires.

The merry-go-round began with Iachini, followed by Ballardini, Fabio Viviani, a Schelotto-Viviani double act, Schelotto-Giovanni Tedesco, Giovanni Bosi, Iachini again and Novellino.

There have been seven coaching changes at the other 19 Serie A clubs, with two at Carpi and one apiece at AS Roma, Verona, Lazio, Sampdoria and Udinese.

Zamparini said last month that he was planning to sell the club in the near future.

Palermo were in Serie B when he took over and won promotion in 2003-04 after a 30-year wait.

For the next few seasons they routinely finished in the top half of the table, qualified for the UEFA Cup several times and had four players in Italy's 2006 World Cup winning squad.

Palermo were relegated in 2013 but returned to the top flight at the first attempt.

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