Zamparini rings the changes

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has fired coach Stefano Colantuono and replaced him with Davide Ballardini. Colantuono was in his second spell in charge of the Sicilians, having first been hired in May 2007.

He was sacked last November after a 5-0 defeat by Juventus, after which Francesco Guidolin, whom Colantuono had replaced, was brought back for his fourth spell in charge. However, Guidolin lasted only until March when Colantuono was brought back to take charge to the end of the season.

Palermo began this campaign with a 2-1 loss at home to unfancied Ravenna in the Coppa Italia, and then fell 3-1 at Udinese in their opening Serie A match. Zamparini had seen enough and decided to act.

"I'm ashamed of Palermo's last three matches which were shameful," he said at a press conference. "Therefore I decided last night to release coach Stefano Colantuono.

"Changing coach once again is a defeat for me, clearly I didn't make the right choice but I can't keep watching Palermo playing in this way after two years of investment. I had no more confidence in Colantuono and his staff."

Ballardini performed wonders at Cagliari last season, taking over at the end of December when the club were rock bottom. He guided them to an impressive 32 points in 21 matches and to safety, although at the end of the season he failed to agree a contract extension.

He will have his work cut out at Palermo, where Zamparini has gone through 12 coaches in his six-year stint. He has actually changed coaches 15 times during that spell, including firing Guidolin in the 2006/07 only to hire him again four games later having not found a replacement.