It has been quite a dramatic and eventful week in Sicily with Sporting Director Walter Sabatini resigning from his post on Tuesday. What was initially cited as personal reasons by the club has later been revealed as an irreconcilable breakdown with the President, Zamparini. This has come out of the blue, no one publicly knew of any rift between the two men but this has left the club in a state of flux off the field.
It is believed to be based around a difference of opinion in the transfer market, which makes it a very puzzling time to leave. We are exactly in between the two transfer windows, if there was such a divide of opinion, why leave now and not in August?
Ultimately all we can do is speculate, only the tip of the iceberg of this argument is in the public domain. This has the potential to be an on-running saga with tumultuous consequences. Sabatini has acted as if he jumped before he was pushed, Zamparini is famous for his quick trigger finger and would have had his gun cocked and loaded.
The transfer policy has been an issue this season as the pieces lost have not been adequately replaced for the immediate future. By Sabatini resigning over this, it can almost certainly be assumed he had very little control over the transfers, which made his role virtually redundant. Unless Zamparini relinquishes control, it is unclear whether a future Director would actually be able to exert his influence and have some control over the club’s future.
There have been many reports also indicating that this could result in Rossi being relieved from his position very soon as well, due to the close links between the two. The President has firmly denied this: ”There is no problem between us two, life continues on. Rossi will not be sacked, he is untouchable.” A very strong statement, most likely just over-emphasising the point to stop the rumours that will inevitably circulate. He will be untouchable, right up until the point that he isn’t. Where that point is, will only be know by Zamparini but as stated on this website before, it is in the best interest of the club for the Coach to stay on.
The President has said that they will not be signing a replacement until after the season, which will leave him to make his own decisions unchecked in the January window, which will be interesting to say the least. It is also probably because it coincides with the lifting of the ban of Luciano Moggi. Although strongly denied by the club, there is a very strong link between him and Zamparini from the Juve days. Moggi, the name most synonymous with the Calcioppoli scandal, had a phenomenal track record of results in Turin but they have been soured somewhat by the fall out from the trial.
On the field Palermo suffered an expected defeat in Moscow, despite a gutsy effort. The 3-1 loss came after they were 1-0 ahead at half time but the sending off of Antonio Nocerino put the visitors in a bind, which they could not unfurl themselves from. With many first teamers rested for this tie a defeat was always on the cards and subsequent qualification has become extremely difficult. A bright spot from this match was the return of Miccoli. The diminutive captain will be a welcome return to a continual makeshift strike force. His return will hopefully alleviate some of the pressure from Pastore and Ilicic, who are the only consistent scorers in the side.
The Rosanero will claim that they lost due to the dismissal of Nocerino but in truth CSKA were phenomenal in the second half. Moscow left the field to a standing ovation and thoroughly deserved it, Honda was once again the shining star on the field and played as well over these two games as he did in last years Champions League.
The off the field shenanigans of this club are normally interesting but this week has been above the usual drama. There has been no indication that this will be resolved soon and has the potential to rumble on for a while. The fans can only hope that this back-room drama does not seep onto the field. Rossi is supposed to be safe and so he can now focus on reversing the current slide this team find themselves embroiled in.
With so many important games on the horizon a result against Genoa on Sunday is imperative to take some momentum going into the Derby and force their way into European contention once again.