Club

History

Palermo Calcio - History

1900 - 2002: from its origins to Zamparini's era

 

Origins
Anglo Palermitan Athletic and Football Club was founded on the 1st of November 1900, largely thanks to the efforts of Ignazio Majo Pagano. The first noteworthy event in the club's history was a change of colours: in 1907 they changed from red and blue to the pink and black still in use and the official name changed to Palermo Football Club. The first real success was in 1922, victory in the Sicilian Federal Championship. In 1929/30 the club gained its first promotion, to serie B.

1932: inauguration of La Favorita, Palermo FC in Serie A
Two years after its first promotion, 1932 opened in grand style: on the 24th of January, on the occasion of the match against Atalanta, the Favorita stadium (now named in honour of Renzo Barbera) was inaugurated. The year proved to be particularly auspicious when on the 22nd of May Palermo was promoted to serie A. The stay was, however, brief: four consecutive seasons. Then in 1940 the club was expelled from the Italian Football Federation (IFF) due to its financial situation: one year later the club was reborn in a merger with Juventina. At the end of the 1947/48 season the new combined clubs were back in serie A.

The 1950s: six years of Serie A and first steps in European football
Between 1948 and 1953 Palermo played in the top league for six consecutive seasons. It was - until the advent of Zamparini - the club's longest stay in serie A. Palermo then alternated between serie A and B, but it also earned its first two fleeting appearances in international competitions: the Mitropa Cup and the Coppa delle Alpi (Cup of the Alps), both now defunct.

The 1960s: from A to B and back again
In 1960/61 the club was in serie A. In 1962/63 it was back in serie B and stayed there five long years before earning its ticket out and up. The decade ended with the club relegated again in 1969/70 only to return to serie A in 1971/72. The following season Palermo played what was to be its last championship in serie A before the arrival of Zamparini.

The curse of the Coppa Italia
In the 73/74 season Palermo came within an ace of a prestigious achievement, losing the final of the Coppa Italia in a penalty kick shootout against Bologna. The Coppa Italia slipped elusively from the club again at the end of the 78/79 season: this time it was Juventus who robbed the club 2-1, in extra time, at a match played in Naples.

1986: an unnecessary expulsion
In September 1986 Palermo was expelled from the IFF, again due to financial difficulties. The club regrouped in January 1987 and now renamed Unione Sportiva Città di Palermo was obliged to begin at the bottom, serie C-2 during the 87/88 season. In 1991 it was promoted to serie B, but only for one season.

The 1990s: Serie B and C1, Franco Sensi
In 92/93 Palermo was promoted to serie B and finally also claimed the Coppa Italia in serie C, beating Como in the final. Palermo remained in the first division for four more years, before relegation to serie C-1 in 1996/97. There they stayed until the end of the 2000/01 season, when the long awaited promotion arrived. Meanwhile, in March 2000, the club was bought by Franco Sensi, owner and chairman of AS Roma. The Roman entrepreneur remained owner of the Sicilian club until summer 2002, until the event that was to change the history of the club: the arrival of Maurizio Zamparini, the man who would lead them to new heights.

Era of Zamparini

 

The turnaround came in the summer of 2002 when Zamparini acquired Palermo from Sensi. The entrepreneur from Friuli - the Italian region furthest from Sicily - in just two seasons brought the club back to serie A - after 32 years in the wilderness. The entire town took to the streets to celebrate. On 29 May 2004, under new coach Francesco Guidolin, the team took top position in serie B beating Triestina 3-1 and celebrated automatic promotion to serie A.

During its first year in Serie A Palermo, for the first time in its history, qualified for the UEFA Cup, and went on to repeat this success the next season too. After 32 years, the hunger for truly top level football across the city of Palermo was such that all season tickets were sold out, and the ticket-offices were closed for the season. Proof of the devotion felt by the population for its club and its chairman.

In 2006, this time under coach Giuseppe Papadopulo, Palermo qualified for the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup, only to lose to the German club Schalke 04. Palermo also almost got to the final of the Coppa Italia, but were frustrated by Roma in the semifinal.

In 2007 Palermo just missed qualification for the Champions League and closed the season joint fifth, still its best result in serie A. That year the club achieved another record, the most overseas successes in one season. It was 2009 however that will go down in history as the year of the club's first national title: under youth coach Rosario Pergolizzi the club took the Primavera national championship, beating Siena 1-0 on the 8 June in Trento with the goal by Abel Hernandez.

The 2009-2010 season closed with Palermo's return to European football, although not getting past the first round of the Champions League despite holding on until the last day.

With Delio Rossi on the bench the club fought a tough season and notched up several records for serie A. Fabrizio Miccoli was the top striker with 41 goals, only to up the record to 50 in 2010/11. The top players included Sirigu, Balzaretti, Bovo, Cassani, Kjaer, Liverani, Nocerino, Migliaccio, Pastore, Hernandez, Cavani and Miccoli. In 2010-2011, Palermo reached the final of the Coppa Italia, 32 years after first making it: on 29 May they lost 1-3 against Inter, but to the 40,000 fans who travelled to the Olympic Stadium in Rome to see the match it was an unforgettable experience.

A mark of the growing appeal of the club under Zamparini is the announcement on 20 January 2012 of a technical sponsorship agreement with Puma, brand leader in the sport-lifestyle sector, which currently collaborates with several national teams such as Cameroon, Italy and the Czech Republic and sponsors prestigious international players such as Buffo, Eto'o, Fabregas, Aguero, Chiellini and Henry.

On 1st February 2012 Fabrizio Miccoli scored his first hat trick against Inter at San Siro and with 64 goals beat Radice's record, officially becoming the top goal scorer in the club's history. It was a triumph for the team captain, one of the players that symbolize the Zamparini era, acquired for the club at Zamparini's personal request.

Giuseppe Sannino, Gian Piero Gasperini e Alberto Malesani took turns on pink-black bench during 2012-2013 season. Palermo ended the championship at the 18th place with 32 points, saying goodbye to Serie A after nine years of consecutive permanence. On 19th June Gennaro Gattuso became the new manager of Palermo.

On 25th September 2013 Giuseppe Iachini replaces Gennaro Gattuso on the bench of the First Team. It is a lucky "wedding": Palermo wins Serie B championship breaking records on records. At the end of the season the pinkblack side sets new absolute record of points gained in a season (86), new record of away wins (13), new record of consecutive away wins (8).

The promotion is achieved on 3rd May 2014: Franco Vazquez scored the gol which allowed Palermo to beat 1-0 Novara and gives the start to an unforgettable night of parties.

2015 - Palermo returns to the "starting grid" of Italian Serie A after only one year in the lower league. The beginning of the season it's not fair, but after the win against Cesena the "rosanero" side starts to fly. Dybala's goals and Vazquez' assists are fundamental for the squad directed by Iachini, which collects nineteen points in the further eight games. The 2-0 against AC Milan at "San Siro" allow the fans to dream bigger and bigger.

Thanks to these results, the second part of "rosanero" season is more calm. The evening of Valentine's Day it's fantastic: Lazaar, Vazquez and Rigoni scores the goals of a great win for 3-1 against Napoli at Barbera. The team controls without worries the lead on the relegation zone and closes the season with a fantastic result, beating Roma for 2-1 at the "Olimpico" stadium with a late winner of Belotti. The side of Iachini ends the championship at the eleventh place with 49 points.

The Serie A is once again the home of Palermo. The departure of the Iachini team was important, with seven points from three games. Then something is jammed, the results do not come, and after alternating technical Ballardini is leading Palermo to Serie A. In the last five days, Gilardino and company get eleven points. Decisive victory obtained last match against Hellas Verona.

During 2016-2017 season, Palermo ended the championship at the 19thplace with 26points, saying goodbye to Serie A after three years of consecutive permanence.

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