Of Decency and Decorum

“Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words.”

William Faulkner’s quote would do well to serve as a banner above Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini every time he concedes an interview. The latest saga in the never-ending soundbite that is the tempestuous owner regards his commentary on Simon Makienok and his future at Palermo. In a Q&A session with Live Sicilia Sport, Zamparini was brief but damning in his assessment of the ex-Brondby striker’s impending situation with the Rosanero club:

“Makienok will surely leave [in January]. I’m sad because he’s a very good lad; however, he wasn’t able to adapt. Beyond that, he had a few problems with his wife. These are the reasons influencing this choice.”

Had the Palermo patron stopped after the first sentence, everything would be fine. But Zamparini is Zamparini and he took it one step farther by making a proclamation on an issue that has no business entering the public realm. For those unaware, several months ago, Simon married Ibi Stoving, a Danish TV show host, actress, model and a myriad of other things. The newly-minted Ibi Makienok was even present at the Renzo Barbera, tweeting from the stands from her husband’s account at one point, much to the entertainment and initial confusion over what was occurring. She instantly became endearing to the Palermo faithful even if her husband wasn’t able to find his way to the pitch.

So, naturally, when Zamparini made a brazenly foolish and inappropriate statement, Lady Makienok was not going to let it go without a response. She took to her Twitter account to post an incredibly sharp retort (NSFW). When I managed to ask her for her “side” of the story, she was very clear:



But this isn’t about Lady Makienok or even Simon. This has everything to do with Zamparini and his lack of tact in these situations. Regardless of whether there’s an inkling of truth in his statement, the point is there is no place for it. Such an accusation does no good to the Makienoks, the club or Zamparini. There are obvious ways to go about a business decision without filling in every detail of what should be a private matter. Sadly, this is the second instance in a six-month span as the Lafferty Saga is still fresh on everyone’s minds.

Furthermore, Zamparini knows all too well the power of words and accusations directed in the media. On more than one occasion, he has been livid with someone – whether it be a media personality or a club president – who has said something off-the-mark regarding Zamparini himself. He’s even threatened to sue! And yet, the man has no qualms about letting any sort of verbal diarrhea proceed from his mouth and across the airwaves.

One can only hope that with age, Zamparini will learn to be more tactful and appropriate. To his credit, he had been doing quite well in keeping the statements to a minimum this season. But, as with any volcano, you’re never quite sure when the next eruption will occur. This latest incident should serve as a reminder that we can be grateful for everything that Zamparini has done for Palermo, but we must not hesitate to voice our concerns when the president falls out of touch with the rights of decency and decorum.