Massimo Ferrero needs to relinquish his position as the Sampdoria president according to Vito Doria as a 3-1 loss to Inter leaves the Blucerchiati winless in eight.
After all the euphoria in the early months of his presidency in 2014, the Roman film producer has turned Samp into a joke. From a club that qualified for Europe, the club is now edging close to the relegation battle.
If the previous presidency of the Garrone family provided stability, Ferrero has created instability. The Italian media has questioned the club’s finances recently, which is one of the reasons he must depart.
There were reports that former president Edoardo Garrone had given Ferrero €7 million in the last month to keep the club afloat and that he had given the current Samp president another €50m last year. This is not a good sign if he cannot provide funds for the club by himself.
Ferrero could also face a 22-month jail sentence for his involvement in the bankruptcy of the Varese-based airline Livingston back in October 2010. He might not do time behind bars though and he is likely to do hours of community service instead.
The Sampdoria president was also kicked out of his apartment in an affluent suburb of Rome. With all these things in mind, how can he keep the club afloat?
Another issue with Ferrero is that he makes too many moves during the transfer windows.
In January 2015, he got rid of Daniele Gastaldello and Manolo Gabbiadini. Gastaldello was a club stalwart and a solid defender who moved to Serie B club Bologna. Gabbiadini had scored seven goals in 13 games but he was sold to Napoli for around €13m.
Samuel Eto’o arrived but he was no more than a marketing tool. Sinisa Mihajlovic did not want him at the club and the Cameroonian star threatened the stability that the current AC Milan coach created.
This unsettled Stefano Okaka, who wasn’t a prolific scorer but he worked hard for the team and was a great physical presence in attack. Okaka was then forced out in July last year and sold to Belgian giants Anderlecht for just €3m.
Federico Bonazzoli was bought from Inter in that January as well and he has not been given the chances to develop so he is now on loan at Serie B side Virtus Lanciano.
During last year’s summer transfer window, Ferrero did what Adriano Galliani had at AC Milan for two to three years and got players on free transfers.
Niklas Moisander, Mattia Cassani, Edgar Barreto and Antonio Cassano arrived but only Cassano has been adequate. Although his statistics have not been impressive, his presence and creativity are important to the Blucerchiati.
Fernando was bought from Shakhtar Donetsk for €8m and although he has been good for Samp, he was not a necessity. Players like Alfred Duncan and Pedro Obiang should not have been sold and Ferrero should have kept them.
Hiring Walter Zenga to replace Sinisa Mihajlovic was a joke. His last coaching job in Italy was at Palermo in 2009. The Blucerchiati should not have lost to a team such as Vojvodina in the Europa League qualifiers. Sacking Zenga and replacing him with Vincenzo Montella has not improved things either.
Eder moved to Inter this January and Roberto Soriano could be heading in the same direction in the summer. Sampdoria’s signings in January have not been performing well either. Dodo has been good on the left flank but Andrea Ranocchia and Fabio Quagliarella have not adapted yet and Jacopo Sala has been injured.
Rumours of Spezia patron Gabriele Volpi have been circulating for some time but he has usually denied them. This story has not gone away though and perhaps he is just keeping a lid on things for now.
Many things have changed since Ferrero became Samp president in 2014. From being a darling of the fans and the media, he is now considered to be an incompetent clown by the fans. The Doriani finished seventh last season but now the Genoese club is sitting just outside of the relegation zone.
Sampdoria must avoid going into Serie B and avoid debt. Regardless if he leaves, he sells the club or he is forced out, Ferrero must go.
As The Smiths would say: “That joke isn’t funny anymore.”