Serie B

This is a list of all teams currently in the Italian Serie B, with a little description beneath it. In the description there are the team's strengths and weaknesses, as well as their transfer budgets, and some info on the league: Introduction

Italian Football is in somewhat of a slump at present. Despite winning the FIFA World Cup in 2006 and Milan's victory in the UEFA Champions League Final in Athens in 2007, the domestic game has suffered from dwindling attendance figures, an increase in fan violence and the tainting of the corruption scandal.

Serie B, Italy's Second Division, has not been untouched by this but it has at least recieved more coverage about it's football than outside issues.

In Football Manager 08 it provides the perfect opportunity for taking a small club on a journey. Real life has provided many fairytale stories of obscure teams making headlines and although somewhat less glamourous than Serie A, it still contains enough entertainment in manageing one of the teams to make it worthwhile.

There is no persistent hierachy of teams but obviously some have stronger squads than others. But there is no reason why a squad of young players, perhaps an ageing ex-international or two and a couple of on-loan future stars from Serie A can't gel together and push for promotion.

There is also a wealth of transfer opportunities for fringe players disillusioned with a lack of first team football in Serie A. The Italian penchent for staying within thier shores means they are often willing to take that step down a league and remain in Italy.

Hopefully what this guide will do is give an idea of how the league works and who, at the start of the game at least, is involved, and who may be the best team to take on to try and win the Ali Della Vittoria.

Contents

[edit] Format

Serie B is comprised of 22 teams.This figure had fluctuated over previous seasons. Until 2002/03 it contained 20 and due to legal problems relating to a relegation issue, became 24 for the 2003/04 Season.

The championship is also sometimes known as the Cadetti literally translating as juniors or cadets. Each team play 42 games in pursuit not only of promotion to Serie A but also the title trophy the Ali Della Vittoria (The Wings of Victory)

Games are traditionaly played on Saturdays, the exeption being if there are no Serie A matches, on those occasions the fixtures are moved to Sunday. They are also played on some Wednesdays in order to fit in the 42 games.

Matches are shown live on Italian Television and a game is often moved to Friday for coverage.

Serie B teams also compete in the domestic cup competition The Coppa Italia. This takes the form of a knock out tournament and provides a good opportunity for teams to pit thier wits against the big guns of Serie A. They enter the competition at an earlier stage than the Serie A teams, competing in the Qualifying Rounds 1 & 2 with the other teams from Serie B.

The winners of Serie A meet the winners of The Coppa Italia in the Italian Super Cup.

3 teams are promoted out of Serie B. The first 2 automaticaly, the 3rd to 6th place teams face a play off over 2 legs. 3rd place play 6th place, 4th against 5th. The 2 winners of those ties face each other in a decider. Should that tie still be level after extra time in the second leg, the highest ranked team in the league is promoted. There is no away goal rule. There is an exception to this however, if the gap between 3rd and 4th place is 9 points or more, there is no play off and the 3rd place team gets promoted.

4 teams face relegation into Serie C. The bottom 3 go down, 18th and 19th placed teams play off with the same rules as the promotion play off final. Again there is an exception, if the gap between 18th and 19th exceeds 6 points, in which case the team in 18th place are safe.

[edit] Teams

Ok, so it doesn't have the glamour of Serie A but Serie B still offers the chance for a challenge. There is a good base of players in the league already and with the right signings many of these teams could make the promotion push.

The obvious teams to pick for the best chance of a quick escape out of Serie B are Brescia, Chievo and Bologna. A good shot for an outside chance would be Rimini or perhaps Pisa. That said there are plenty of others who are ready to leave behind mid-table stagnation and move back to better times - Ascoli, Vicenza, Lecce.

The best bet for the football romantics would have to be AlbinoLeffe. This tiny team have already surprised everyone with thier progress and present a real challenge to take them even further. football betting picks

[edit] Team Guides 2007-08

[edit] Treviso

F.b.c. Treviso - Sito ufficiale

Stadium : Omobono Tenni (Capacity 7,500)

[edit] History

Treviso have spent almost thier entire existence outside the top flight of Italian football. Origionally formed in 1909 the club has struggled to make any great impact and by the time it was cancelled in 1993 due to financial troubles, a 6th place in Serie B was the best it had to show for its acheivements.

However under coach Guiseppe Pillon, Treviso re-emerged and experienced remarkable sucess in achieving 3 sucessive promotions, taking them back into Serie B. There then followed a period of time between Italy's second and third tier in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Pillon's second spell at the helm saw Treviso achieve thier highest place yet, 5th, and despite losing in the playoffs, Treviso found themselves promoted to Serie A for the first time in 2005 due to the automatic relegation of Genoa and Torino for outside issues.

Thier stay was short lived and they spent most of the season rooted to the bottom. Despite finishing 20th however it seemed that they might yet survive relegation. The match fixing scandal had condemed teams above them to the drop but when the courts reduced thier penalties to point reductions, Treviso had to accept thier fate and return to Serie B.

Club Captain: Luigi Beghetto

Kit Colours: White Shirts (h) Blue Shirts (a)

Rivals: Venezia, Padova, Vicenza

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training - average Youth - average

Media Prediction at Start: 15th

Key Player: Fererico Piovaccari (AMR/ST)

[edit] Messina

www.mondomessina.it ::::: Il Sito Ufficiale del F.C. Messina Peloro :::::

Stadium: San Filippo (Capacity 40,200)

[edit] History

Formed in 1900, the Sicilian club of Messina have thier origins from the inspiration of the game in England. Just as the game was starting to gain in popularity, the teams founder was studying in London. He returned to Sciliy and wasted little time in putting together a team. Around this time and under the same circumstances, Palermo of Sciliy were also founded. The 2 teams would play each other every year against the backdrop of fierce but friendly rivalry.

The club then went through a turbulent period in its history. A devastaing earthquake killed players and financial backers leaving it in a precarious state. It lurched its way through the following years under the guise of various identities and local mergers but remained self-contained within Sicily.

It wasn't until after the Second World War that Messina enjoyed any kind of stability. By 1950 they had won promotion out of the Sicilian Championship and into the 'International League'. They enjoyed much sucess in reaching and holding thier own in Serie B, where they stayed for over 10 years. The clubs first taste of Serie A came after winning Serie B in 1962-63 and despite a rocky start, they ended up in mid-table safety. This was as good as it got for a while, the following year they did go down and after 3 seasons found themselves back in Serie C. The 1970s saw Messina struggle, dipping in and out of Serie D.

All this began to change in the 1980s. A young Salvatore Schillachi emerged in thier ranks and by 1983 they were back into Serie B. Good times looked as if they were here to stay but the sale of Schillaci at the end of the decade to Juventus sparked another decline. Falling back into Serie C and unable to bounce quickly out, the club ran into money problems. Before long it was all over and all professional football in Messina was cancelled.

The 1990s was a long journey back through the Sicilian leagues under various new identities. Financial problems persisted and the club decided to merge in 1997 with a local club Peloro. The momentum of sucess then began, in the space of just a few seasons they had worked thier way back to Serie C and in 2000, back into Serie B. It took just 2 seasons for the club, who had been as good as finished, found themselves back in Serie A after 40 years.

Messina more than stood thier ground in the top flight and in the 2004-05 season only just missed out on a UEFA Cup slot. The following season wasn't so promising and the club ended the season in 18th. However they were saved from the drop by the match fixing scandal that saw other teams above them relegated as punishment. It could only be delayed another season however and at the end of the 2006-07 campaign, Messina, out of thier depth and pretty much out of cash, found themselves back in Serie B.

Club Captain: Carmine Coppola

Kit Colours: White Shirts (h) Red Shirts (a)

Rivals: Catania, Milazzo, Regina, Atalanta

Starting FM Financial Staus: Secure

Facilities: Training - average Youth - adequate

Media Prediction at Start: 5th

Key Players: Antonio Schetter (ST) Marco Moro (ST)

[edit] Ascoli

.: ASCOLICALCIO :. Sito Ufficiale - Home Page

Stadium: Cino e Lillo Del Duca (Capacity 28,430)

[edit] History

Of those teams who make up Serie B at the start of the game, Ascoli stand out as one of the most capable. With plenty of Serie A experience under thier belt they offer a good prospect for a quick promotion push.

Founded in 1898 the team took on many guises, settling on A.S. Ascoli in 1945. Like so many Italian clubs at some time or other it faced bankruptcy but on this occasion was saved by publishing magnate Cino Del Duca, and the stadium still bears his name today. The club began to enjoy sucess and worked its way up to Serie C by 1959.

The real sucess however began at the beginning of the 1970s. A new owner and a new name (Ascoli Calcio 1898) the team won consecutive promotions and found itself in Serie A. After flitting between the top 2 divisions the club put together an impressive run of 7 seasons in the top flight. Things remained at this level until finally in the mid 1990s, the club began to sink into decline. 1995 saw the drop into Serie C that lasted a long 7 years before winning the division and a welcome return to Serie B in 2002.

Ascoli were one of the teams to benefit from the punitive measures handed out to troubled clubs of Serie A (Genoa and Torino) and were gifted a short lived return to the top division. A 12th place finish was most credible but after losing influential coach Marco Giampaolo, the following season saw a change of fotunes. A 19th place at the end of the season condemed Ascoli back to Serie B.

It is also worth putting Ascoli's sucess in perspective. A city of just 50,000 people, Ascoli have done themselves proud to have spent 16 seasons in Serie A in the last 34 years. It's also worth acknowleding what a great achievement it is for this team to sell out it's stadium given the city's tiny population.

Club Captain: Massimo Taibi

Kit Colours: Black/White Stripes (h) Black - White Sleeves (a)

Rivals: Fermano, Padova

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training - good Youth - average

Media Prediction at Start: 7th

Key Player: Marco Bernacci (ST)

[edit] Piacenza

PIACENZA CALCIO - home

Stadium: Leonardo Garilli (Capacity 21,608)

[edit] History

Football in Piacenza filtered through via the college system in the late 1890s and for many years comprised of ever more frequent friendly matches. The first established club however did not appear until 1919 when, competing mainly in regional leagues, Piacenza were formed.

By 1935 they had worked thier way up to Serie C but had to wait until after the Second World War before they could get a taste of Serie B action when they enjoyed a 2 season run in the second tier before falling back to Serie C.

They remained there until 1956 when, as a consequence of illicit sportsmanship, the club were sent down to Serie D. The club took a long time to recover from this and spent the following 13 years bouncing between Serie D and C. Eventually they did make a brief return to Serie B but it took the appointment of coach Gigi Cagri to properly turn the clubs fortunes around.

The squad, re-juvenated and containing some fine players began thier most successful period in thier history. Promotion to Serie A for the first time in 1993 seemed to signal a new era however they were relegated on the final day. The squad and coach remained in tact though and the following year they were back in the top division after winning the Serie B title in style in 1995. They spent the next 5 years in Serie A - repeatedly fending off relegation and winning affection with thier pro Italian stance (the club notoriously advocated all Italian line-ups). Despite a brief blip they stayed there up until 2002 when finally the run came to an end.

Piacenza have now made some consessions in thier squad selection methods and the first foreign players are being picked but it has yet to re-ignite the teams fortunes. They have failed to make an impact in Serie B since and seem to be waiting for the right combination to take them back on another golden run.

Club Captain: Luigi Riccio

Kit Colours: Red Shirts (h) White Shirts (a)

Rivals: Cremonese, Milan, Reginna

Starting FM Financial Status: Secure

Facilities: Training - top Youth - excellent

Media Prediction at Start: 4th

Key Player: Vincenzo Santoruvo (ST)

[edit] Vicenza

VICENZA CALCIO - Sito ufficiale - Official Website


Stadium: Romeo Menti (Capacity 20,920)

[edit] History

Situated in the north of Italy, Vicenza have a proud history of relative sucess given the clubs size. Formed in 1902 and beginning in the lower leagues of the day Vicenza finally began to make thier mark in 1942 when they made thier first forray into Serie A.

The team stayed in the top flight until 1948, achieving a 5th place finish the year before relegation. A downturn in fortunes brought on by economic issues, the club suffered a little slump in the early 1950s but a benefactor purchased the team and so, by the mid 1950s, the team were back in Serie A where they remained until 1975.

Although they never challenged for the title in this time they became well known for being difficult opponents and could count on the support of thier fervent, partizan and fanatical supporters. Despite a couple of years back in Serie B, Vicenza returned to Serie A in the late 1970s and even finished runners up in the 1977-78 season. This was in no small part to one Paolo Rossi. Vicenza were the first team to try Rossi up front and the results were immediate - he topped the league scoring charts that year with 24 goals.

The good times couldn't last forever however and it was no surprise that Rossi was to take the step up, moving to Turin giants Juventus. The effect on the team was damaging, back to Serie B and by 1981 they had sunk further down to Serie C.

It took a few years in the wilderness before local boy Roberto Baggio emerged. There was nothing much of the young Baggio and he suffered many serious injuries in his early days but he still managed to inspire a renaissance at the Venato club and they returned to Serie B in 1986. Baggio however moved on and the club found itself back in Serie C in 1987 where it stayed for 6 years.

Things were to turn thier way again though, the mid 1990s saw another upturn in form and the team leapt back to Serie B in 1993 and 2 years later were right back in Serie A. This time they held thier ground and surprised many by winning the Coppa Italia in 1997 beating Napoli. Only Chelsea the following season denied them a place in the final of the now defunct Cup Winners Cup. But, as before, Vicenza failed to make thier stay in the top division permanent. At the end of the decade they slipped back into Serie B and despite one season back in Serie A, they have spent the last few years in Italy's second division - only narrowly avoiding a drop into Serie C by default in 2005.

They remain a club with promise who seemed destined to fail to ever establish themselves as part of the Serie A regulars.

Club Captain: Stefan Schwoch

Kit Colour: Red/White Stripes (h) Black Shirts (a)

Rivals: Atalanta, Brescia, Verona, Treviso

Starting FM Financial Status: Secure

Facilities: Training - average Youth - average

Media Prediction at Start: 10th

Key Player: Salvatore Masiello (AMC L)

[edit] Modena

Modena Football Club 1912 - Sito Ufficiale - Official Site

Stadium: Alberto Braglia (Capacity 17,000)

[edit] History

Modena have been perennial underachievers throughout thier existence. Formed in 1912 the club have enjoyed brief spells in Serie A but have remained locked in a cycle of Serie B existence for many of the previous decades.

Thier last experience of the top flight came in the early 2000s but lasted just 2 seasons before relegation loomed again.

The clubs 15th position last season is indicitive of a side who do not appear to have the current capacity to make the step up a gear and challenge for promotion. They can name such players as Luca Toni in thier list of past stars and perhaps it will take another of his like to come through the ranks to inspire the team out of stagnation.

The club boasts a recently updated stadium which appears to be waiting for a season to justify it.

Club Captain: Alex Pinardi

Kit Colour: Yellow Shirts (h) White Shirts (a)

Rivals: Regianna, Cesena, Bologna, Brescia

Starting FM Financial Status: Secure

Facilities: Training - adequate Youth - adequate

Media Prediction at Start: 16th

Key Player: Salvatore Bruno (ST)

[edit] Bari

AS BARI

Stadium: Stadio San Nicola (Capacity 58,270)

[edit] History

AS Bari like so many port towns of Italy have thier roots in foreign influence. Situated on the 'heel' of Italy, Bari has a mixed history of occassional sucess and pervailing underachievement.

Its first form was under the name of Football Club Bari, founded in 1908 by a plethora of Europeans and competed mainly within regional competitions at the time. Thier history immediatly after this was one of various mergers and re-structuring either side of the First World War. It wasn't until the 1920s when Italian football properly started to take on a more organized and official structure that Bari were properly integrated into the league system known today and the last season of the 1920s saw them installed into Serie B. It was around this time that one of the teams players was called up to the national side, giving Bari the distinction of being the first Serie B team to provide an international player.

2 decades of sucess followed, both spent in Serie A, although a 7th place was the best they had to show for thier residency there.The 1950s and 60s saw the team fluctuate between the top 2 divisions before another mini revival in the 1980s. English interests in the club were brought to life with the arrival of 2 Englishmen at the club around this time but they failed to make much of an impact. The club did however end the decade on a high reaching a respectable 10th in Serie A.

The 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy provided Bari with an impressive new stadium, the San Nicola. David Platt, fresh from an impressive performance in the tournament joined the club but by 1992 they were back down in Serie B once again.

The club did however find thier feet again towards the end of the 1990s and spent another 4 years in the top division before once again drifting back down where they have underachieved ever since.

Club Captain: Antonio Bellavista

Kit Colour: White Shirts (h) Red Shirts (a)

Rivals: Lecce, Pescara, Foggia

Starting FM Financial Status: Secure

Facilities: Training - good Youth- good

Media Prediction at Start: 12th

Key Player: Mariano Donda (MR)

[edit] Lecce

US Lecce Calcio - sito ufficiale

Stadium: Via del Mare (Capacity 40,670)

[edit] History

Situated on the southern tip of Italy, the port city of Lecce spawned its first football club in 1908. Incorporating other sports under its remit the team played its games exclusively in regional competitions until it was disbanded in 1924.

They returned under the banner Union Sportiva Lecce 3 years later and at the end of the decade they won thier first promotion into Serie B. Far from being the start of things to come, the club promptly folded the following year. Four years passed before they returned, but not without incident as the team dipped in and out of existence. Stability was being achieved by the 1943-44 season when they won Serie C. World War Two then forced club football to cease but Lecce picked up where they left off after the war and went up to Serie B as champions. A couple of decent seasons followed before they fell back into Serie C where they spent a long 17 seasons.

Despite almost gaining promotion they had to wait until the 1975-76 season before returning to Serie B. They stayed there for 9 years before finally stepping up to Serie A for the first time in 1985. They may have only lasted a season but were back there again in 1988. This time they lasted 3 seasons, dropped down for 2 then returned for the ill-fated season of 1993-94. Lecce finished with a paltry 11 points, the lowest on record for Serie A.

This yo-yo between the divisions went on throughout the 1990s but Lecce can boast at spending more of those seasons in the highest division than the second. They have stayed in Serie B since the 2006-07 season and despite some isolated highlights, they have been mid-table quality. The team however give the impression that the right combination of players and management could take them back to being one of the better teams of Serie B.

Club Captain: Andrea Zanchetta

Kit Colour: Red/Yellow Stripes (h) White (a)

Rivals: Bari, Taranto, Napoli

Starting FM Financial Status: Secure

Facilities: Training - good Youth - good

Media Prediction at Start: 9th

Key Player: Simone Tiribocchi (ST)

[edit] Mantova

A.C. MANTOVA - Official Web Site

Stadium: Danilo Martelli (Capacity 15,000)

[edit] History

For a club of its size, Mantova have enjoyed relative success. Founded in 1911 and based in Lombardy, they can boast spells in Serie A and consistent form within Serie B making the FM media prediction a little harsh.

Without doubt thier 'golden age' was in the 1960s and early 1970s where they enjoyed 7 seasons in the top tier of Italian Football. Even when they did drop down at the end of the 1960s a Serie B title the following season sent them back up.

Unlike some of the other teams in the divsion, Mantova do not appear to have suffered relegation slumps atall, remaining in Serie B and more than holding thier own. Despite twice going into insolvency they wasted little time in progressing back to where they were and now are financially secure enough to be considered capable of pushing for promotion.

Recent form brought upon them positive media attention and many considered them to be prime candidates to win promotion in the 2006-07 season. This optimism was fired by Mantova's triumph over Juventus, the first team to beat them during the Turin clubs season in Serie B.

The ambition of the club for success was never more highlighted than when former Italian international Stefano Fiore signed for the club in the summer of 2007.

Club Captain: Mattia Notari

Kit Colour: White/Red Stripe (h) Red/White Stripe (a)

Rivals: Cremonese, Verona, Reggiana, Vicenza, Modena

Starting FM Financial Status: Secure

Facilities: Training - average Youth - average

Media Predictionat Start: 8th

Key Player: Alessandro Noselli (AM RL, ST)

[edit] Ravenna

Ravenna Calcio

Stadium: Stadio Bruno Benelli (Capacity 9,500)

[edit] History

Founded in 1913 as the football section of Unione Sportiva Ravennate, the early life of Ravenna was one of various mergers and participation in regional leagues. It began to take on a more autonomous existence under the banner of Associazione Calcio Ravenna in 1928 and in 1936 made its first appearence in the Italian league where they occupied a place in Serie C until 1948.

What followed was a period of fluctuating fortunes as the team bounced between the professional and amateur leagues. The club also took on new identities in this time as it failed to establish itself at a higher level of football. This continued until the early 1990s when the team struck some good form and by 1993 had worked thier way through Serie C2 and Serie C1 to make an historic appearence in Serie B. It was during this time that a young Francesco Toldo spent a season between the posts for Ravenna.

This hadn't heralded a new era however as Ravenna continued to drop into Serie C periodically before stringing 5 seasons together in the second division. During the 1993-94 season Ravenna had a young Christian Vieri amongst thier playing staff but despite a good goalscoring record he was sold on after just one season. When in 2001 they were relegated once more the club ran into financial troubles and were shut down by the Federation.

Back from the ashes came Ravenna Calcio. They won successive promotions to reach Serie C2 in 2003 and 2 years later made it back to Serie C1. 2 years later again and they returned to Serie B as champions. The FM media prediction suggests they are tipped to struggle but the momentum of recent success may help them put down some roots in Serie B.

Club Captain: Fabrizio Anzalone

Kit Colours: White Shirts (h) Red Shirts (a)

Rivals: Cesena

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training -adequate Youth - adequate

Media Prediction at Start: 20th

Key Player: Vincenzo Chianese (ST)

[edit] Rimini

Rimini Calcio - Gate

Stadium: Romeo Neri (Capacity 7,500)

[edit] History

Rimini appeared in thier first form in 1912 and spent thier formative years in the regional leagues of the time.

Remarkably they still use the same stadium that was built back in 1930, the small capacity Romeo Neri. 8 years after that the club adopted the name that exists today - Rimini Calcio F.C.

The club did not make an appearence in Serie B until 1976 but after surviving 3 seasons they were relegated. Despite the odd season back in the second division they slumped back down to Serie C in the 1981-82 season and remained stagnant in the lower leagues for the next 24 seasons.

Better times were ahead and the mid 2000s saw Rimini promoted out of Serie C as champions. Since then they have shown that they are far from out of thier depth and look to have built a squad capable of not only staying in Serie B but challenging for the play off on a consistent basis.

Club Captain: Adrian Ricchiuti

Kit Colour: Red/White Quarters (h) White Shirts (a)

Rivals: Pistoiese, Vispesaro, Cesena

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training - adequate Youth - adequate

Media Prediction at Start: 6th

Key Player: Daniele Vantaggiato (ST)

[edit] Cesena

Home*-*A.C. Cesena - Sito Ufficiale


Stadium: Stadio Dino Manuzzi (Capacity 23,860)

[edit] History

Cesena were founded somewhat later than many of the other clubs that make up Serie B, not coming into existence until 1940.

They played thier football in the lower regional leagues until breaking into Serie B in 1968. Within 5 years they had stepped up to Serie A and thanks to a half decent squad, held thier own for 2 seasons before surpassing themselves with a 6th place and UEFA Cup qualification in 1975-76.

Unable to build on this Cesena were relegated the following year and had to wait until 1981 for a return. Another relegation followed which led to a period of 4 years in the second division only to see a 4 year spell in Serie A again, albeit precariously avoiding relegation each season.

In 1991 their luck ran out and back to Serie B they went. Despite the odd season of promise they were back in Serie c by the end of the decade. By the mid 2000s they won promotion and surprised many with a 6th place in Serie B. This was followed by an unremarkable season and a mid-table finish which is probably where Cesena belong.

Club Captain: Emiliano Salvetti

Kit Colours: White Shirts (h) Black Shirts (a)

Rivals: Rimini, Bologna, Ravenna

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training - good Youth - excellent

Media Prediction at Start: 13th

Key Player: Davide Moscardelli (ST)

[edit] Albinoleffe

U.C. ALBINOLEFFE

Stadium: Atleti Azzuri d'Italie (Capacity 26,642)

[edit] History

Of all the teams currently in Serie B, the short history of AlbinoLeffe is the most endearing. Football romantics will already know of the heroics shown by this team in its meteoric rise.

2 small town clubs, Albinese Calcio and SC Leffe were both in Serie C2 and both struggling to stay afloat. Despite some local opposition they merged and AlbinoLeffe were formed in 1998.

There was immediate sucess, the team won promotion to Serie C1 at the first attempt and have not looked back. In 2003 they won promotion into Serie B and were forced to leave behind thier tiny ground with a capacity of just 2000, and move to the better facilities of nearby Atalanta's stadium. Despite this move the club rarely attracts more than 3000 supporters.

Many predicted this fairytale would end there but instead this team of relative unknowns have got better and better. Respectable league finishes have given rise to much media coverage of thier success story and this was only enhanced further by thier achievement of holding Juventus to draws home and away last season.

This small club provide a great challenge in FM to keep the dream alive and maybe take them even further.

Club Captain: Ivan Del Prato

Kit Colours: Sky Blue Shirts (h) Red Shirts (a)

Rivals: Atalanta

Starting FM Financial Status: okay

Facilities: Training - average Youth - average

Media Prediction at Start: 11th

Key Player: Francesco Ruopolo (ST)


[edit] Bologna

Bologna FC

Stadium: Renato Dall Ara (Capacity 39,603)

[edit] History

Bologna Football Club owes it's creation to an Austrian, inspired by the game back in his university in Vienna. Thier first game was in 1910 with the squad wearing red and blue shirts apparently copied from those worn by Crystal Palace.

Leading up to the First World War Bologna competed in the regional divisions and were showing signs of potential. After the war this potential started to take hold and the club were champions of Italy in 1929. The year after the more familiar league structure was put in place. Bologna continued to perform well leading to a fantastic run of 4 consecutive Serie A titles from 1935-41 before another World War stopped them in thier tracks.

Momentum was definatly lost and the club, although high achievers, didn't lift the Scudetto again until 1963....they have not won it since although they grabbed themselves 2 Italian Cups in the 1970s.

The beginning of the next decade marked the club's decline slipping down as far as Serie C1 but the final seasons saw a change of fortunes. The club made it's way back up through the ranks and ended the 1980s with another season back in Serie A.

Yet another slump followed but yet again Bologna showed thier resilliance and by the mid 1990s were not only back in Serie A but notched up a UEFA Intertoto Cup triumph and a season of UEFA Cup football. It wasn't until 2004-05 that once again they dropped down a league and a series of dissapointing seasons have hindered a promising team from making the step up once more.

Club Captain: Marcello Castellini

Kit Colours: Red/Blue Stripes (h) White Shirts (a)

Rivals: Parma, Cesena, Modena, Fiorentina

Starting FM Financial Status: Secure

Facilities: Training - top Youth - good

Media Prediction at Start: 3rd

Key Player: Vangelis Moras (DR,DC)

[edit] Frosinone

.::Frosinone Calcio - Official Site::.

Stadium: Stadio Matusa (Capacity 9,680)

[edit] History

Frosinone are relative newcomers to this level of league participation. Founded in 1928 they spent thier formative years in the lower regional leagues.

Thier first close encounter with the established Italian leagues wasn't until 1990 when they just missed out on promotion to Serie C1. They were unable to build on this however as the club ran into financial difficulties soon after and dropped out of existence for the next 3 years.

On thier return they clawed thier way back up the leagues, twice benefiting from automatic promotion due to league vacancies (the cancellation of smaller clubs for financial insolvency was creating gaps to fill). By the start of the 2000s the team had put down roots in Serie C2, winning the division in 2003-04.

Two seasons later and Frosinone hit new heights, making thier debut in Serie B in 2005-6 and surprising many by resolutely fending off relegation and ending the season in a repectable 14th.

Club Captain: Nicola Carlo Pagani

Kit Colours: Yellow Shirts (h) White Shirts (a)

Rivals: Latina, Reggina

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training - adequate Youth - adequate

Media Prediction at Start: 14th

Key Player: Pio Crisci (ST)

[edit] Avellino

Unione Sportiva Avellino S.p.A. - Sito Ufficiale - Home

Stadium: Partenio (Capacity 33,500)

[edit] History

Like many of Italy's clubs, Avellino began thier life in the regional leagues which were comparable in terms of quality to Serie D.

Formed in 1912 to give the town a football representative, they stayed in these leagues until emerging in Serie C just after the Second World War.

At the end of that decade they made it up to Serie B for the first time but match fixing accusations were made and the federation not only stripped them of promotion but sent them right back down to Serie D. They immediatly bounced back but just as quickly went back down, this time for 6 consecutive seasons.

The 1960s saw the club flit between the third and fouth divisions in Italy and it wasn't until the 1970s that they broke this trend when in 1973 they made it back into Serie B and 5 seasons later in 1978 stepped up to Serie A. Remarkably, given the club's size and relative obscurity, they put together a run of 10 years in the top tier. They didn't just cling on either, finishing consistently in mid-table.

The 1990s saw the teams fortunes drift backwards a little and they have spent many of the recent years between Serie B and C. Having almost gained a route back into serie B in the 2005-06 season the following year they did return but are expected to have thier work cut out to stay there.

Club Captain: Simone Paolo Puleo

Kit Colours: Green/White Sleeves (h) Green/White Hoops (a)

Rivals: Salernitana, Benevento, Catania

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training - adequate Youth - adequate

Media Prediction at Start: 19th

Key Player: Krisztian Kenesei (ST)

[edit] Grosseto

Grosseto

Stadium: Carlo Zecchini (Capacity 14,200)

[edit] History

Grosseto F.C. do not have a particuarly glittering past and have spent almost thier entire existence playing in Serie C down to the amateur leagues.

Formed in 1912 they were introduced into the Italian Football Federation in 1921 at the promozione level. Thier first triumph of note was winning Serie D in 1995 but promotion was denied them as financial troubles resulted in the club being cancelled by the Federation.

It took them 6 years to work thier way back to where they were. A spell of consistently better form followed and the early 2000s saw the club pushing for promotion each season. By 2005 they were on the verge of making it into Serie B but lost in the play-offs to Frosinone in the final.

They were spared the play-offs the following season though as Grosseto won Serie C1 on the last day of the season to take them into Serie B for the first time in thier history. Facing thier first season in the division at the start of a FM game, Grosseto pose a real challenge to a manager looking to take on an underdog.

Club Captain: Luigi Consonni

Kit Colours: Red Shirts (h) White/Red Stripe (a)

Rivals: None

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training - basic Youth - minimal

Media Prediction at Start: 22nd

Key Player: Marco Carparelli (Forward)

[edit] Brescia

Brescia

Stadium: Mario Rigamonti (Capacity 20,000)

[edit] History

Founded in 1911 Brescia have a proud history of relative sucess. Certainly compared to many of thier opponents in Serie B they can hold thier head high and boast of prolonged spells in the top division.

They achieved the distinction of remaining within the top 2 divisions from 1912 until 1982 and even then only spent 3 years outside of them.

Recent history however revolves around one signing, that of Italy legend Roberto Baggio who raised a few eyebrows when Brescia brought him to the Stadio Mario Rigamonti in 2000. With his help they finished 7th, it's best yet in Serie A. This allowed them to enter the UEFA Intertoto which they very nearly won, losing in the final to PSG.

Brescia built thier team around Baggio who spent 4 seasons at the club before retiring. His importance to them was in evidence as the first season without him saw them drop out of Serie A after ending the season in a poor 19th. Without doubt one of the strongest teams in Serie B, Brescia have still not yet managed to find thier way back to the good times they have enjoyed in the past.

Club Captain: Davide Possanzini

Kit Colours: Blue Shirts (h) White Shirts (a)

Rivals: Atalanta, Verona, Bologna, Vicenza

Starting FM Financial Status: Secure

Facilities: Training -top Youth - good

Media Prediction at Start: 1st

Key Player: Fabiano Santacroce (DC)

[edit] Spezia

Spezia Calcio 1906

Stadium: Alberto Picco (Capacity 10,300)

[edit] History

Spezia Calcio came into existence in 1906. Newly promoted into Serie B the club have a long tradition, particuarly in recent times, of life within Serie C1 and C2.

However the club are able to boast a disputed Serie A title, achieved during World War Two in a reduced league. They had to wait until 2002 for the Federation to recognize the achievement. It remains unofficial in the record books but the club were awarded it as a 'decoration'.

The last 10 years have seen Spezia make steady progression. The turn of the century saw them promoted as winners out of Serie C2. 4 years later they picked up a Coppa Italia Serie C, a year before taking the Serie C1 title and finding themselves in Serie B where they are tipped to struggle with the step up.

Club Captain: Massimiliano Guidetti

Kit Colours: White Shirts (h) Yellow Shirts (a)

Rivals: Pisa, Lucchese, Livorno

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training - average Youth - adequate

Media Prediction at Start: 21st (start with 1pt deduction)

Key Player: Issah Eliakwu (AM RL/F)

[edit] Triestina

U.S. Triestina Calcio - Unione Sportiva - Campionato di Calcio Serie B - Sito Ufficiale

Stadium: Nereo Rocco (Capacity 32,000)

[edit] History

Triestina were formed in 1918. Beginning life in regional leagues the club cannot look back upon a great deal of high profile sucess in thier past.

They have experienced life in Serie A but back in the 1950s under famous coach Nereo Rocco, and the stadium bears his name today.

Like so many Italian clubs, Triestina ran into financial problems in the 1990s and folded in 1994. Thier return to Serie B in 2002 came after 11 seasons in the wilderness of Serie C and D.

The club have struggled financially ever since and has changed hands a number of times in the last 3 years. It's new owners the Fantinel Family who purchased thier local club in 2006 look to have secured the club's future, at least in the short term.

Club Captain: Riccardo Allegretti

Kit Colours: Red Shirts (h) White Shirts (a)

Rivals: Napoli, Udinese, Vicenza

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training - average Youth - adequate

Media Prediction at Start: 17th

Key Player: Luigi Della Rocca (ST)

[edit] Pisa

PISA CALCIO | Sito Ufficiale

Stadium: Arena Garibaldi (Capacity 17,000)

[edit] History

Founded in 1909 and situated in the Tuscony Region of Italy, Pisa's early life was spent in the lower leagues before making thier first appearence in Serie B in 1965.

3 seasons later they were in the top division, if only for one year. The 1970s saw them languish in Serie C until the turn of the decade saw a turn in fortune. Coach Romeo Anconetani took the team back to Serie B then onto Serie A where they stayed for 6 of the next 9 seasons.

The 1980s saw them yo-yo between the top two divisions and in '87 current Brazil boss Dunga graced thier midfield. 1990 was thier last promotion to Serie A but when relegated in 1994 the team collapsed into bankruptcy.

They have risen from the ashes however and thanks to thier loyal fans and gifted coach, the 2007-08 campaign will be back in Serie B once again.

Club Captain: Gabriel Raimondi

Kit Colours: Blue/Black Stripes (h) White Shirts (a)

Rivals: Fiorentina, Spezia, Livorno

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training - average Youth - average

Media Prediction at Start: 18th

Key Player: Vitaly Kutuzov (AMR)

[edit] Chievo

www.chievocalcio.it

Stadium: Bentegodi (Capacity 39,211)

[edit] History

Chievo, situated in Verona. It made it's official debut in 1931 but lasted just 5 years before financial problems caused the club to shut down until 1948.

The club had to wait until the 1970s before they emerged in Serie D and again until 1986 before they played in Serie C. A staff re-structure and new coaching staff set Chievo on the path to promotion in 1992 into Serie B and they went one better at the turn of the century, reaching Serie A for the first time in thier history. Tipped for the drop they surprised everyone, topped the table for 6 weeks and ended the season 5th with a UEFA Cup place.

After fending off relegation a 7th place finish in 2005-06 saw them qualify for Europe again although this time in the UEFA Champions League due to the match fixing scandal toppling teams above them. Chievo had proved to many just how capable they were and they can count themselves unlucky to have dropped down a division in 2007-08 after 6 seasons at the top.

Club Captain: Fabio Moro

Kit Colours: Yellow/Blue Sleeves (h) White/Blue (a)

Rivals: Verona, Bologna, Brescia

Starting FM Financial Status: Okay

Facilities: Training - good Youth - average

Media Prediction at Start: 2nd

Key Player: Giovanni Marchese (DL,DC,WBL)

[edit] Football Manager 2010

Teams in 2009/10 season.

AlbinoLeffe

Ancona

Ascoli

Brescia

Cesena

Cittadella

Crotone

Empoli

Frosinone

Gallipoli

Grosseto

Lecce

Mantova

Modena

Padova

Piacenza

Reggina

Salernitana

Sassuolo

Torino

Triestina

Vicenza

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