After a lengthy absence, it’s time to get back to business. Palermo head into the offseason in preparation for a fight in Serie B. While making the jump back to Serie A immediately is the priority, it’s hardly a certainty.
Let’s talk about a few certainties currently surrounding the Rosanero. For starters, Giuseppe Sannino will not be back as Palermo coach. After meeting with club officials, he opted to part ways and his destination seems to be the Flying Donkeys of Chievo Verona. The “what if” scenario will always present itself had he not been sacked after only three weeks into the season, but there is no sense in dwelling in the past at this point.
Another certainty comes in the form of Nicola Amoruso, the new sporting director for the Sicilians. Amoruso is known for his long career as a striker, most notably for Reggina. In 2011, he took over as the head of the youth sector for Reggina and began taking the necessary courses to become a sporting director in September 2012. Zamparini has chosen him to help fill the DS role while working alongside Perinetti. He’s young and ambitious and the hope is that he can set forth a clear strategy in what will be a key offseason in unloading the overwhelming number of useless contracts and numerous players with no future at the club.
Practically a certainty but not official yet is the new coach to lead this team in Serie B. In a very surprising move, Zamparini has opted for Gennaro “Rino” Gattuso as the man for the job. Gattuso has spent the past year playing in Switzerland for Sion. Just over midway through the past season, Gattuso was appointed coach after Sion’s equally-or-even-more-crazy owner sacked his predecessor. Gattuso, acting as player-coach, led Sion for a month, garnering a record of one win, one draw and two losses. He further served as vice-coach alongside Arno Rossini for another couple of months. In total, Gattuso’s coaching record with Sion was two wins, four draws and four losses. As the season came to a close, it was announced that Gattuso would go back to just a player role. As Zamparini came up with the idea of Gattuso as coach of Palermo, Rino enthusiastically accepted but is still working on his release from his current club (he still has a year left on his contract).
More can be expounded upon Gattuso’s appointment when it becomes official, but it needs to be said that this seems like quite a risk for a club that wants to immediately return to the top flight. Let it be known that there are really only two ways the Gattuso appointment can go: it’ll either be a mad stroke of genius from Zamparini or a fiery train-wreck that could derail the entire season. Knowing the explosive personalities of both Zamparini and Gattuso, this has all the makings of a pay-per-view title fight.
Beyond these certainties lies a vast expanse of uncertainties. Miccoli’s future with Palermo appears to be over. The extra-curricular developments surrounding Miccoli has been the catalyst in the decision not to renew his contract. The two sides will be meeting later this week, but unless something miraculous happens, Palermo’s greatest player of all time has played his last game in Rosanero.
The futures of many other Palermo players are up in the air as well. Perinetti and Amoruso have stated that the club intends to count on the likes of Sorrentino, Garcia, Munoz, Abel Hernandez and Dybala. While that is a great nucleus of players that could make a significant difference in Serie B, only time will tell if any of these players are sold when a good offer comes through.
The offseason has barely begun but there will be plenty to talk about as the weeks go by. Once Gattuso is officially confirmed, Palermo can begin to work on the 30-odd players that need to find new homes while settling on players who can make the difference in Serie B and achieve promotion. We’ve only just begun…