serie a news

Palermo chief furious with coach Ballardini

May 31, 2009

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has lashed out at "arrogant" coach Davide Ballardini, who he revealed wants to leave the Serie A side.

Ballardini has had an impressive season in charge of Palermo since taking over in September and only just missed out on beating Roma to a Europa League spot.

The 45-year-old has a two-year contract left at the Stadio Renzo Barbera but he told his president today he wants to head for the exit.

"As I had read that there were doubts on the future of the coach, I asked him what truth there was in it," Zamparini said at a Palermo press conference today. "Ballardini replied: president, I want to leave Palermo.

"Ballardini's words left me feeling very very bad. I have remained pained because it shows little respect to the club and the Palermo fans. It's perhaps the worst moment of my time in charge, almost like a knife to my sacrifices.

"I have always said and Ballardini knew that from the beginning that I like talking about football with my coach. This annoyed him but I always had a loyal behaviour. Evidently Ballardini is really arrogant and doesn't like collaboration."

The next 10 days are set to decide Ballardini's future at the Rosanero.

However, even if he changes his mind Zamparini admits he can see no way back for his coach.

"I can't keep a coach at the club who wants to leave," he continued. "I told Ballardini to take 10 days for himself to decide. I am convinced that behind Ballardini there is some other club.

"What will happen if he has a rethink in the 10 days? Ballardini would not have a problem with me, but today I don't know if Palermo would manage to forgive him."

Speculation is rife that Ballardini will move to Lazio with current coach Delio Rossi heading the other way.

Zamparini believes the club will sit down in the next few days and decide on their next step

"I don't know what we'll do in these 10 days, but we won't remain passive," he said. "Delio Rossi? I have never met the Lazio coach. Moreover, everything is possible, even the fact that we don't find any other alternative and we make Ballardini himself respect his contract."

Zamparini also hit out at Lazio counterpart Claudio Lotito who he accused of being behind his coach's desire to leave.

"If a man is a man then he shouldn't hide behind excuses," he told Radio Radio. "I think there is some other club, as it's not about our relationship.

"I wish Lotito hadn't started this soap opera a month, a month and a half ago. If Lotito had asked me first it would have been much better. Obviously, the Lazio president doesn't like me very much."