Palermo FC dream of new glory with money from Abu Dhabi – Sport

Can one imagine more different worlds in Europe than Palermo and Manchester? They are antipodes, deep south and high north, in every respect. Well, the two worlds are coming together, at least in terms of football, and they’re finding that pretty exciting in Sicily right now.

Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group, owners of Manchester City, are adding Palermo Football Club to their already lush club portfolio. He has just and quite unexpectedly been promoted to Serie B, the second Italian league. So the city didn’t need to be particularly euphoric: it already was. But now, with the money from the Golf and the announced inspiration of new managers, one naturally dreams even bigger. That Journal of Sicily expects a “gentle revolution”, but actually, with the commitment of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, one is moving to another galaxy.

The only question is which model the new owners will adopt: that of Catalan club Girona, which they have controlled since 2017, or that of Ligue 1 club Troyes, which they took over in 2020. Girona, recently top-flight again, became the patient showcase and training ground for talent, particularly from the Citizens’ academy – 101 players came and went in five years. The connections are close: Girona is co-owned by Père Guaradiola, brother of Pep, the City coach. In Troyes, the City Football Group aimed for rapid promotion and invested in new players to do so.

But the basic principle is always the same: ManCity is the fixed star around which all satellites orbit. The conglomerate clubs that are a little further away all have “City” in their name so that they can be recognized from afar: New York City, Mumbai City, Melbourne City, Montevideo City Torque. In Europe, where the traditions of this sport are a little more deeply rooted, that’s obviously not possible. Palermo FC, founded in 1900, will not be called Palermo City, that would be unimaginable, even if you are just back from hell.

A big city, millions of fans all over the world: Palermo is one address

Three years ago, Palermo was broken by its questionable financial behavior and was forcibly relegated to Serie D. That was an unparalleled disgrace for a city with 600,000 inhabitants, for a following of millions of emigrants all over the world and for a club with a respectable history . Between 2005 and 2011, for example, they played five times in the Europa League and Uefa Cup. Not that long ago. Then the crash.

Local entrepreneur Dario Mirri, a fan, bought the club from the city that had incorporated it into its administrative echelon and, with modest means, brought it back to the pre-elite. Mirri once said that it was his childhood dream to become President of Palermo, after all, one of his ancestors had been the revered Renzo Barbera, whom they called “il Presidentissimo”. The Stadio Renzo Barbera bears his name. It has been heard that the new owners want to keep Mirri in management for the sake of identity preservation. Coach Silvio Baldini should also be confirmed in office.

The aim now is to steer Palermo back to Serie A very quickly, if possible as early as next year. It’s been a while since a Sicilian club was top notch. The general opinion is that five or six new players are needed for this – and a definitive takeover of last season’s superstar: Matteo Brunori, 27 years old, center forward, born in Brazil, Italian. He contributed 29 goals to promotion. The decisive goal in the final of the playoffs against Padua was his work.

This is how you make yourself a hero. And because Brunori had married a few days before the rise, happiness in love and happiness in work miraculously condensed into the happiness of the whole town. Brunori is owned by Juventus Turin, who have only ever loaned him out. Now Juve wants to sell him, Palermo offers five million euros. It’s no longer a thing.