The dissolution of Bologna

It has been a bit of a soap opera at Bologna this season. The club has already seen four different Presidents at the helm, a new Coach hired a week before the start of the campaign, a three point deduction for failing to pay taxes and player wages, and certain members of the squad embroiled in a scandal involving the use of parking permits for the disabled.
The latest episode involves sporting director Carmine Longo, who was sacked on Friday evening after comments he made to news agency ANSA where he admitted he would not continue in his role beyond the end of the season, citing ”different views and ideas” with new ownership.
It all makes Coach Alberto Malesani’s efforts this season look all the more remarkable. A side that finished one place above the relegation zone last year, mainly thanks to the goals of Marco Di Vaio, have spent most of this season comfortable in mid-table, despite the deduction robbing them of three points. They are now slowly being dragged towards the relegation zone for the first time this season thanks to their current slump (no wins in their last six games).
Unfortunately for the Bologna tifosi the circus surrounding the club is showing no signs of abating. The drop in form seems to have come about at the same time as rumours started surfacing about the Coach’s future. It would now be a huge surprise to see Malesani back on the bench for next season, such is the continued presence of the rumours and the non-committal comments from Malesani himself. Nobody could blame him for moving on considering the ongoing shenanigans, especially with reports of a rebuilding Genoa interested in his services.
It is not just the Coach whose future is uncertain, as many of the club’s best players are likely to be on the move. Emiliano Viviano, co-owned with Inter, might well end up at San Siro now he appears to be Italy’s No.2 (or perhaps Genoa after Eduardo’s error-ridden campaign). Gastón Ramírez has been linked with an incredible €20m move to Manchester City, while Miguel Britos was attracting admirers back in January.
It could all amount to a huge problem for Bologna come next season. There are already many who believe they are massively reliant on the goals of Di Vaio as it is, but to take away the good players that support his efforts would see the club back in Serie B in 2012.
Their most important summer signing could be the individual that replaces Longo as sporting director. If important players do leave, it is going to need a sharp eye for talent to replace them, especially given the small budget the Rossoblu are likely to have in the summer. Appointing the right man off the pitch will ensure Bologna has a much better chance on it – and that essentially equates to an improved likelihood of Serie A survival.

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