Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Palermo wield the axe again as Lopez departs

SoccerNews in Serie A 11 Apr 2017

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Palermo’s owner may have changed but the club’s tradition for sacking manager’s continues after Diego Lopez was relieved of his duties on Tuesday.

With relegation from Serie A looming for the Sicilians new president Paul Baccaglini has dismissed Lopez and replaced him with youth coach Diego Bortoluzzi to try to beat the drop.

Baccaglini bought Palermo from Maurizio Zamparini in March, the latter renowned for making over 40 managerial changes during his 15 years at the helm.

That tradition appears set to continue after Lopez was fired with Palermo languishing second bottom of the table, having lost seven of their last eight league matches.

Sporting director Nicola Salerno has also left the club with immediate effect.

Bortoluzzi becomes the fifth Palermo coach of the season and has seven games to preserve their top-flight status.

“We have received and accepted the resignation of sporting director Salerno, and we thank him for what he’s given to the club,” a statement from Baccaglini read.

“We can’t afford defeatist attitudes in these last few games, we owe it to ourselves, the fans and the prestigious colours of our team to fight seven games to the death and leave everything on the pitch.

“I inherited a squad which is going through a difficult time, and I’m trying to do everything to shake up the foundations and get heads held high again.

“To that end we have decided to relieve Diego Lopez of his duties as coach, he inherited a difficult situation and we thank him for his hard work.

“We’ve turned to our academy for a new coach, Diego Bortoluzzi, who was assistant to Francesco Guidolin and recommended by him, who will bring his commitment to end this season in the best way.”

Baccaglini also revealed he has put a bonus on the table for the players should they escape the bottom three in the closing weeks.

“I’ve offered the players a reward for staying up, this aims to be a strong signal by the club to show how much we believe in and are fighting for this goal,” he added.

“It will take a strong boost, we need to change and play all together for everything.”

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