Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini has let fly in recent weeks. Outbursts from the controversial figure are nothing new, but he has directed his ire at those perceived to be against Palermo. As the Sicilian club creep closer to relegation the strain is showing on a President who has been central to Palermo being in this predicament.
While the battle for the Scudetto is over, the action is heating up at the bottom. Verona are now relegated, with Palermo, Frosinone and Carpi scraping to avoid the other two positions.
When Frosinone scored a late goal in their relegation six-pointer at Verona on April 17, Zamparini accused the home team of letting the Canarini score. “For the Frosinone goal the Verona players looked the other way. Am I doubting the good faith of Hellas Verona? I’ve already said everything. You look at the match. If there is to be TV evidence then it should be used in this case.”
Frosinone President Maurizio Stirpe called the comments “offensive to the whole of football.” But that hasn’t stopped the fiery Zamparini.
His next target was referees. On Sunday, Palermo won a crucial match at Frosinone, their first since January 24. But victory for Carpi over Empoli saw the minnows stay in 17th, three points clear of Palermo.
“The fight to avoid relegation was conditioned directly by the referee Paolo Valeri in the Carpi-Empoli match yesterday,” a statement from the President read. He was incensed at the first half dismissal of Empoli’s Levan Mchedlidze, plus a disallowed goal and a penalty not given to Empoli. Carpi won 1-0.
Rather than complain about referees, Zamparini must look in the mirror for the cause of Palermo’s struggles. They have made nine coaching changes this term – that’s more than their number of wins, eight.
Zamparini sacked Giuseppe Iachini citing an ability to play the football needed to succeed. He later brought him back, only to sack him once more weeks later. Davide Ballardini’s absurd fallout with the squad late last year mattered little as he is back on the bench. Walter Novellino lasted only a few matches. Then there was the Guillermo Schelotto debacle. The Argentine did not have the correct licence to coach and had to be replaced by a series of youth and assistant coaches.
Palermo’s squad is not one which should be fighting for survival. But thanks to the farcical nature of Zamparini’s leadership and his penchant to hire and fire like it’s nothing, Palermo have been severely crippled. They have three games left to mount a recovery.