Fiery Napoli fans send Serie A back to square one

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We have only had one game of the new season but it would seem as if it’s business as usual in Serie A: ultras on the rampage and coaches set for the chop.

Let’s start with the incidents that marred Napoli’s opener at AS Roma.

It seems now that there was a more sinister element orchestrating the public disorder that followed the Napoli fans all the way to the capital and back again.

The Naples anti-mafia department believe that the Comorra – the local crime family e– were flexing their muscles over the city council and Silvio Berlusconi government’s unwillingness to allow them to control the rubbish collection within the city and surrounding area.

Napoli fans make their presence felt at the Stadio Olimpico 

Well, it was certainly a show of strength. It was estimated that around 2,000 took part in the disturbances which included forcing their way on to the trains bound for Rome without tickets and then attacking train staff who attempted to reason with them.

The Roma ultras had got wind of what was in store and police detained a number of them for possession of such Sunday afternoon accessories as knives, clubs and a hammer for good measure.

The upshot is that no away ground will see Napoli fans for the rest of the campaign and we are back to square one concerning who can attend ‘high risk’ matches in general.

The stadiums in Italy are pretty dilapidated, there is no question about that, but it’s the threat of fan violence that really keeps the public away.

The Berlusconi government couldn’t wait to put troops on the streets of all the major cities over the summer to deter a supposed increase in clandestine crime, i.e. foreigners up to no good.

However, when it comes to the notorious ultras, interior minister Roberto Maroni could only lamely admit that maybe the powers that be had “underestimated the risks” of a mob travelling the relatively short distance from Naples to Rome.

Anyway, what can never be underestimated is the short fuse of two of Serie A’s great sackers: Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini and his Cagliari counterpart Massimo Cellini.

The pair are on the brink of showing their coaches the door after opening day defeats and in Palermo’s case coming on the back of exiting the Italian Cup to lower league Ravenna.

Stefano Colantuono has already been fired once before by the fiery Zamparini so he probably doesn’t even bother unpacking when he takes over.

He could even be gone before the next game, at home to AS Roma in 10 days, if his boss gets out of the wrong side of the bed in the meantime.

Zamparini announces that he's sacked another coach

Apparently, former Sampdoria and Torino coach Walter Novellino has already packed an overnight bag.

From Sicily to another less-than-idyllic island, Sardinia. There we find the unfortunate Massimiliano Allergi, former club striker and coach of such Italian powerhouses, Sassuolo and Grosetto.

Well, we all have to start somewhere but a 4-1 defeat at home to Lazio of all people; you are just asking to test Cellini’s patience – a man whose loyalty to the club means that he watches most games from his home in Miami.

Maybe Zamparini and Cellini can come up with a swap deal between the coaches or maybe just cool their jets, at least until the leaves have turned.