After surviving for 110 years in the Italian football league system, it was announced yesterday (15/7/14) that AC Siena would be no more. Declared bankrupt, they had reached the end of the road.
A statement from the club read ' Despite multiple, frequent attempts carried out in order to procure the registration of the team to the new football season, it was not possible to achieve this objective.'
It is a sad end for the club from the Stadio Artemio Franchi, although the writing has been on the wall for the last few seasons after yearly financial struggles. Their main backer, Banca Montepaschi di Siena, had to be bailed out by the Bank of Italy after a financial scandal in 2013. Former president Massimo Mezzaroma served a 20 day suspension last season as he was found guilty of 'not informing the relevant federal agencies of the withholding of income tax and wages owed to players.'
The Bianconeri competed in Serie A as recently as 2013, relegated in that season. They narrowly missed out on the play offs in Serie B in 2014, a points deduction from the start of the season was too much to make up in the end. This prompted Mezzaroma to resign in order to 'help the sale of the club as bankruptcy loomed'.
After having spent 55 years playing in the lower divisions, Siena were promoted to Serie B for the start of the 2000/2001 season. They were promoted to Serie A for the first time in the club's history in 2003/2004 and finished in a respectable 13th place.
Over the years Siena have had some famous managers. Ferruccio Mazzola, son of legendary Torino captain Valentino Mazzola, managed the club in 1988/89. Antonio Conte, until recently Juventus manager, was appointed in 2010 and led the side to promotion in 2012. Other ex managers include Marcello Lippi, Ottavio Bianchi, Luigi De Canio and Serse Cosmi.
Notable ex players include Rodrigo Taddei, Tore Andre Flo and Enrico Chiesa.
I have decided to write this post from a personal viewpoint as well. In 2004 I went to Tuscany on honeymoon, and visited Siena a few times. The ground is just outside the town centre and I paid a visit. Purchasing various memorabilia, I decided that I would 'adopt' them as one of my teams and have followed their results from afar ever since.
I hope a new buyer can be found soon and the rebuilding of the club can begin. It's the supporters and the town that will suffer in times like these. A long road lies ahead.
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