Bigging up Bari: The lowdown on Noordin Ahmad's new club
Who are Bari?
Bari is a city situated on the Adriatic coastline of Southern Italy and has a Mediterranean climate, with temperatures slightly cooler than what Noordin is used to in Malaysia.
Though the club’s origins date back to 1908, when German Floriano Ludwig, Swiss Gustavo Kuhn and a native trader of Bari Giovanni Tiberini put together a squad comprising traders from Europe, the club truly established themselves in 1928 after merging with local clubs Liberty and Ideale.
It was then the club’s name went from Foot-Ball Club Bari to Unione Sportiva Bari. Another remodelling resulted in it being called AS Bari since 1951, and the club is today known as FC Bari 1908 after a takeover in 2014.
Bari play their football at the 58,000-capacity San Nicola Stadium, a venue built for the 1990 World Cup. They share a fierce rivalry with Lecce.
Bari’s distance from success
The club’s best season came shortly after World War II, finishing seventh in 1946-47. Bari have only 48 seasons our of 91 in Italy’s top flight, moving up and down so frequently they are referred to as elevator.
Bari spent the last five years in Serie B, something Noordin hopes changes this season as the club are on track for the promotion playoffs next month.
In terms of silverware, Bari have only won the Serie B twice, Serie C four times and the fourth-tier league once.
While memories of relegation are plenty for Bari fans, they will surely remember the 1995-96 season, where forward Igor Protti became the top scorer in the Serie A with 24 goals but it was not enough to save the club from relegation.