Bari Fans Block Move For World Cup Winner: It’s Not The First Time Either

It’s been a tough season for Bari. After missing out on promotion to Serie A courtesy of an injury-time goal in the play-offs last season, they’ve now appointed their third coach of the current campaign.

However, that coach is not former Italy defender and World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro. He was last in charge of Benevento, relegated from Serie B just after he left, and his name was linked with a switch to the Stadio Santa Nicola. Fans were not impressed, and a protest has ensured they will not turn to the 50-year-old.

Bari have struggled this season and languish in 15th place in the table, just five points and one spot above the relegation play-off places. Michele Mignani was in charge of the Puglians at the beginning of the season, but after a tepid start, he was sacked in October. Pasquale Marino took over, but he managed just four wins in his 14 games in charge, and he, too, was sacked.

Cannavaro was eyed as a replacement, but supporters were not happy. His record in management isn’t outstanding – as well as Benevento, he’s been in charge of Guangzhou Evergrande and Tianjin Quanjian in China. His only European job to date was with I Giallorossi, currently placed fourth in Serie C Group C. He also has ties with Napoli, having begun his career there, something else Bari supporters were not keen on.

That means the owners have now turned their attention to Beppe Iachini, who yesterday penned a contract until summer 2025. Iachini has managed more than 600 games across Italy, with stints at Verona, Sampdoria, Brescia and Palermo all bringing promotion from Serie B. The 59-year-old has also managed in the top flight, notably with Fiorentina, and will now be looking to excite the grand stage of Bari’s 56,000-capacity stadium.

Site Opinion

Iachini feels like a more solid appointment than Cannavaro. The latter is a name and a big one with multiple honours as a player, but he would be a big risk after his Benevento experience.

Iachini has been there and done it, winning multiple promotions. Remember, last season was only Bari’s first in Serie B since 2018, and back-to-back promotions did look likely. The owners will be hoping yesterday’s appointment arrests their slide, starting with a huge clash against bottom-side Lecco this weekend.

This isn’t the first time fan power has influenced a big decision. The club were looking to sign Manolo Portanova from Genoa in January, but fans were against the signing after his conviction for rape. They protested, and Bari’s owners did a U-turn, leaving the player well alone.

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