With the last chapter in the 2011-12 season finally written, Palermo are already looking ahead to next season. The past season was officially the worst of the Zamparini era and the fiery patron wants to make sure that the mistakes that littered the club will not be repeated. Clearly, the biggest problem for Palermo was the lack of continuity at the top. In an effort to start a new cycle, Zamparini has his eyes on two men: Giorgio Perinetti and Giuseppe Sannino. Are they the men to save us?
When Zamparini sacked Stefano Pioli prior to the start of the season, it was a scene all too familiar for anyone who has a working knowledge of Serie A. The real problem, though, occurred when Palermo’s young, new Director of Sport Sean Sogliano handed in his resignation. Along with the sacking of Devis Mangia, the lack of a DS stunted the growth of the club from the top. Luca Cattani filled in admirably in Sogliano’s absence, but it was clear that Palermo suffered from a lack of direction. Zamparini realized this error and towards the end of the season, he started putting people in place that would finally let Palermo act like a true organization.
Giorgio Perinetti is a familiar name to those Rosanero fans who have followed the club well before the days of Serie A. He first worked with Palermo back in 1993, helping the Sicilians earn a promotion to Serie B, before moving on to Roma in 1995. Yet, Perinetti would return only five years later in 2000, aiding Palermo in yet another promotion to Serie B and keeping them from getting relegated the successive year before leaving again for Roma. He hadn’t been back since then, yet he often commented how often he missed the colors, the city and the island of Sicily. Being married to a Sicilian only furthered that longing as he would make frequent trips back to Palermo.
Perinetti also expressed a desire to return back to the club and on May 16, Giorgio got his wish. He rescinded his contract with Siena and joined Palermo as executive vice president. His primary duty will be to oversee the direction of the club and guide the moves on the transfer market. He’s a respected man in the calcio world and his love for Palermo can only help in his daily duties, being that it’s a labor of love.
When Bortolo Mutti came on as Palermo coach, even he knew that it was only till the end of the season. As the weeks went by, the speculation was who would replace him on the Rosanero hot seat. Many names were mentioned but the most recurring of any was that of Siena coach Giuseppe Sannino. The bald-headed tactician was actually very close to being the Palermo boss last season. Yet, a telephone call between Zamparini and Perinetti ultimately persuaded Maurizio to look elsewhere. Perinetti, who wanted Sannino to come coach Siena, told Zamparini that perhaps Sannino wasn’t ready for a piazza like Palermo. So, Sannino went to Siena and Zamparini appointed Pioli. Yet, the story behind Giuseppe Sannino is a fascinating one and there’s a reason why he’s seen as one of the most promising coaches on the peninsula.
For the longest time, Sannino spent his coaching career in the lower tiers of Italian calcio. Teams like Biellesse, Alto Adige, Meda and Cosenza have all been under his helm. Beginning with Bluceleste side Lecco, Sannino went on a torrid tear, becoming Mr. Promotion. He led Lecco to Serie C1 and then joined Pergocrema, leading the Cannibali to a Serie C1 promotion as well.
In 2008, Sannino took the Varese job, where he had previously coached back in 2003. At the time, Varese were mired in Serie C2. In his first year as coach, he led the Biancorossi to a first place finish and automatic promotion to Serie C1. The following year, Varese would be promoted again, this time to Serie B after ending in second place and winning the successive playoff. Sannino’s Varese would take Serie B by storm, ending the season in fourth place and just missing out on an historic promotion to Serie A, losing in the semifinal.
Such an incredible run caught the eye of many a team between Serie B and Serie A, all gunning for Sannino’s services. After three incredible seasons with Varese, Sannino joined Siena last season. The follicly-challenged boss led Siena to Serie A safety while taking them through an incredible run in the Coppa Italia, losing to Napoli in the semifinal. His team was tactically sound and defensively astute, despite having no big names in the back. He’s a tremendous motivator who has a fantastic growing knowledge of the game. The results speak for themselves and he fits the bill as the kind of coach the Rosanero need.
Sannino to Palermo is not official yet. However, Giuseppe has met with Siena president Mezzaroma to discuss a contract rescission so that he can join Perinetti in Sicily. The announcement could be as soon as this week. With the Rosanero reeling from their worst season in Serie A since promotion, Perinetti and Sannino could be the winning combination Palermo so desperately need.