Matarreses Fail Again: Perinetti quits for SienaBy: agiamba | May 7th, 2010
In the up and down story of Associazione Sportiva Bari, there haven’t been too many constants. Managers and players come and go, the team moves around Serie B and Serie A, etc. The one constant over the last 30 years has been the complete incompetence of the owners, the Matarrese family. And yet again…they’ve screwed over the team, and badly so.
It reads almost like the departure of Conte last year, which was definitely mismanaged by the owners. Conte, of course, planned to (and did) extend his contract but received constant ambiguity from the President, Vincenzo Matarrese. After a few months of back-and-forth, Conte decided to walk, given that the Matarrese’s didn’t seem too concerned about the next season or about reinforcing the squad. We got lucky that time, as obviously Il Mister, Giampiero Ventura has been a very capable replacement.
It’s widely acknowledged among most Bari fans that the reason the club sprung into action in late June was the departure of Conte. They knew to attract a coach, they’d have to promise him a decent group of players as the previous team would have struggled to remain in Serie A. Hence the signings of Almiron, Donati, and a host of players on loan. Giorgio Perinetti, of course, has put together a very competitive team over the last few years, and the coaching has matched it. While there were some problems with the transfers, noticeably the failure to get any kind of ownership of stars Ranocchia and Baretto, it was still a solid mercato. A month ago or so, when the team reached la Salvezza I said the the management needed to get moving on transfers, because Ranocchia, Baretto, Bonucci, Belmonte, Almiron, and Koman are all not owned by Bari. (though Bari has co-ownership of Bonucci) Many of these players are expected to leave this summer, as Bari’s wonderful season has attracted serious interest from bigger clubs.
There’s a lot of work to do on the mercato scene, but today, AC Siena announced that they have signed Giorgio Perinetti to be their Director of Sport. As in Siena, the team that has already been officially relegated. It’d be one thing if Perinetti was snapped up by a big club like Juventus, but he just left Bari to work with a Serie B bound team. The response from the Matarreses? Resounding silence. Not a word. To me, the fact that Perinetti left for Siena smacks of sheer indifference from the Matarreses, who either suggested he had little funds to work with this summer, or in general, have ZERO ambitions for Bari.
And that is the most frustrating part. That is why Conte left, and that is why Perinetti left. The ownership has no ambition, seemingly no care whether the team descends to Serie C (as it nearly did twice in the last 10 years) or sits in Serie B, wasting years away in mid-table. Teams often talk about a “project” and the term is probably overused, but they have plans. Sampdoria, Fiorentina, Napoli, Palermo, and Genoa have all mapped out ambitious plans returning from Serie B over the last few years. Each have been in Serie B in the last decade, and now not only look like permanent Serie A teams, but are all battling for European spots year in, year out. Teams like Siena, Livorno, Atalanta, Lecce, Reggina, and Torino have had no plans other than to avoid relegation, and voila…..it happened. Teams like Siena and Reggina managed to miraculously secure safety year-after-year, but eventually, they ran out of steam. Why did Perinetti join Siena? Probably because they gave him a project, to build a team to get back into Serie A. It’s not glamorous, but it’s a plan.
I fear that Conte and Perinetti left because the Matarrese’s gave them no assurances, no promises that this team would fight for something more glorious than avoiding relegation. And that wouldn’t surprise me, because it characterizes the attitude of the family towards Bari their entire tenure as owners: indifferent. They don’t care about this team, though to their credit, they never have claimed to. They tried to sell the team last year, they tried to sell it to Tim Barton this year, and hopefully, they’ll sell the team sooner than later, otherwise Bari might find itself slipping towards Serie B sooner than later. Though Bari is newly promoted, the fanbase is one of the bigger ones in Serie A. The biancorossi tifosi deserve better.