March 6, 2017 / 5:52 PM / 6 months ago

U.S. born businessman named as Palermo president

ROME (Reuters) - U.S. born businessman Paul Baccaglini has been named as the president of struggling Palermo after he agreed that his fund would take over the struggling Serie A club.

Baccaglini, who was born in the U.S to an American father and Italian mother, will replace flamboyant Maurizio Zamparini, who had been in charge since 2002 before resigning last week.

The Sicilian club said on its website that Baccaglini, who was raised in the U.S. and initially worked in radio and television after moving to Italy, had guaranteed to fund the building of a new stadium and sports centre.

It said Baccaglini had pledged to buy 100 percent of Palermo's shares by April 30 through Integritas Capital, which he founded with two other partners.

Baccaglini could quickly find his new club playing in the second tier as Palermo are in Serie A relegation trouble, seven points adrift of the safety zone.

Zamparini, who has been trying to sell the club for nearly one year, announced his resignation last Tuesday after overseeing nearly 40 coaching changes during his 15 turbulent years in charge.

The 75-year-old is famous for the speed at which he hires and fires, sometimes reinstating coaches only weeks after they have been fired or sacking them days after assuring their job is safe.

Because it is often not clear whether a coach is considered interim or long term, and because some have been employed several times, there is no clear consensus over how many he has employed since he took over the club in 2002.

Most Italian media put the total at 38.

Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Neil Robinson

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