Palermo's tempestuous chief Zamparini resigns after 15 years

ROME (Reuters) - Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has quit his post with the Serie A club, he said on Monday, after overseeing nearly 40 coaching changes during 15 turbulent years at the helm.

The famously volatile 75-year-old businessman said his replacement would be a representative of an Anglo-American fund which had agreed to invest in the relegation-threatened club.

“The president Maurizio Zamparini has announced that he has resigned from his post,” Palermo said in a statement on their website (, adding that the new president would be confirmed within the next two weeks.

The statement said the unnamed investors had “contractually committed to invest in the projects of the Zamparini group, with initial priority in Palermo football club... including the stadium and sports centre.”

Zamparini had said in October that he was close to selling the Sicilian club to Chinese investors.

Languishing in Serie B when Zamparini took over in 2002, pink-shirted Palermo won promotion in 2003-04 as they returned to the top flight after a more than 30-year wait.

In Zamparini’s first few years they routinely finished in the top half of the table, played in the UEFA Cup several times and had four players in Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning squad.

Their fortunes faded after that and they were relegated in 2013 but returned to the top flight at the first attempt.

They narrowly avoided another relegation in May after an extraordinary season in which the club employed seven different coaches, two of them twice.

This season they are again in the bottom three, seven points adrift of the safety zone, and last month named Uruguayan Diego Lopez as their fourth coach of the campaign.

Because it is often not clear whether a manager at Palermo is considered interim or long term, and because some coaches have been appointed several times, there is no consensus over how many Zamparini has employed since he took over in 2002.

However, Italian media generally put the total at 38.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris