It was during the summer of 2002 when Maurizio Zamparini acquired Palermo from Franco Sensi for €15M. At the time Palermo was in Serie B ending the season in 10th place. The following 2002-2003 season Palermo moved up five spots and finished in 5th place. During the summer of 2003, Palermo makes a key acquisition, striker Luca Toni. He wins the Serie B scoring title with 30 goals and leads Palermo to a first place finish and promotion to Serie A. Palermo remains in Serie A for eight straight seasons, three of which they finished an impressive 5th place.
However, performances the past five years have been far below expectations. Fan apathy, circus of managers being sacked, re-hired, sacked again and debts have taken their toll. From the moment Zamparini acquired Palermo, the club was mired in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy. Zamparini admitted from that point on moving forward he covered an accumulated loss total of €100M for his “passion and love of football, money I will never see again.”
So far this season, Palermo is in 18th place, 8 points behind Empoli. Barring a significant turn of events, they are assured to be relegated to Serie B. Zamparini has been trying to sell the club for over a year now but so far nothing tangible has occurred other than some rumoured expressions of interest. The latest is a potential sale to American investors.
Zamparini values Palermo at €50M, and hopes to sell the club to an owner with deep pockets. At that valuation it will be difficult to fulfill the sale by looking at a few important variables:
Stadium: Stadio Renzo Barbera
Owned by club: no
Average attendance the past three seasons
Club performance past five years
2016-2017: Serie A 18 * most likely relegating to Serie B
2015-2016: Serie A 16
2014-2015: Serie A 11
2013-2014: Serie B – promoted
2012-2013: Serie A 18 – relegated
Palermo have one of the lowest ticket prices in Serie A. For example, renewals in the curva section were sold for only 150 euros, while new subscriptions were just 190 euros.
Season ticket sales
Palermo’s share of the funds available from TV rights is €34.1M
After selling Paulo Dybala to Juventus and Franco Vazquez to Sevilla to reduce the club’s debt, there currently are no player assets that can be sold for a significant profit.
This is one area where determining a value is not an exact science, composed of a variety of elements and open to interpretation. In this situation, the goodwill of Palermo is insignificant and there is no reason a premium should be added to the valuation. The appeal of the Palermo brand is at a low, Zamparini has damaged the club with all the manager sackings. Fans are angered by the lack of activity in the winter transfer window to help reinforce the squad in the hopes to avoid relegation.
Zamparini has over valued his club and will have to reduce his asking price, particularly with the club heading toward relegation and the loss of the TV revenue.