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Lega Pro Special – Tension Rising In Season’s Final Stages

A fabulously entertaining season in Italy’s third and fourth tiers enters its final few weeks of competition and for many clubs there is still everything to play for.

Vigor Lamezia within reach of the most unlikely title

Vigor Lamezia within reach of the most unlikely title in Lega Pro 2B


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Lega Pro Review – Taranto Are Cruising, This Is The Season So Far

Sadly, James Richardson was too busy for us at The Football Express. So we’ve got the next best thing, Lega Pro expert, Steve Mitchell to provide us with a round-up of the season so far in the Italian third and fourth tiers. If you’ve missed it so far, this will get you right back up to speed in no time at all.

After 1412 games, 1676 goals and 23 managerial changes, Italy’s third and fourth tiers went into their winter break. Congratulations go out to Ternana, Siracusa, Casale and Perugia who were crowned winter champions of their respective divisions.

The snow has thawed. The Lega Pro action will get under way again on Friday evening.

The snow has thawed. The Lega Pro action will get under way again on Friday evening.


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Lega Pro Review – Jeepers Keepers as Spadavecchia Gets 3 Year Ban

They say that a week is a long time in politics, well two weeks in Italian lower league football feels like an eternity. “Wow”, I hear you say, “is it really two weeks since we had our fix of Lega Pro on these esteemed pages!”

Taranto's fans light up the night sky

Taranto's fans light up the night sky

So what’s been happening since we last met?

The big story to break  has been the suspension of Andria Bat goalkeeper Vitangelo Spadavecchia. The big shot stopper was implicated as one of the main protagonists in match fixing allegations surrounding a Sorrento v Juve Stabia game dating back to April 2009 when he was custodian for the Rossoneri. The federal prosecutor when reviewing the case, asked for a six point penalty to be inflicted on the team from Campania, in the end they received a two point deduction but Spadavecchia was banned from the game for three and a half years.
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Lega Pro Review – Changes At The Helm As Club Bosses Get Trigger Happy

Italy has developed a reputation over the decades – rightfully – for having incredibly trigger happy chairmen, and the past week has seen a swathe of sackings, Steve Mitchell guides us through a few of the latest dismissals. Just a month into the new season and the powers that be at several clubs around the peninsula have finally panicked and shown the red card to their current managers.

Elio Giustinetti will be watching a lot of TV for the rest of the season

Elio Giustinetti will be watching a lot of TV for the rest of the season


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Lega Pro Review – Catanzaro rise like eagles

The history of US Catanzaro has been chaotic to say the least. Having been declared bankrupt on three separate occasions, the side from southern Italy are now in their fourth incarnation under new president Giuseppe Cosentino.

Catanzaro are flying high

It’s now more than 30 years since the club’s golden era when they managed an unbroken five-year run in Serie A with a team that included current Inter tactician Claudio Ranieri. But that is as good as it got for the Calabrian side and the subsequent years has seen them nosedive into the lower reaches of Italian football to the point of near extinction.
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Lega Pro Review – Week 2

Just like the opening week of the Lega Pro season, the weather had a major impact on the second round of fixtures only this time it wasn’t the rain that was the problem, it was the debilitating heat that has engulfed the peninsula over the past seven days.

The sweltering heat and intense match action was all a bit too much for Sarri

The sweltering heat and intense match action was all a bit too much for Sarri

In C1A, Sorrento coach Maurizio Sarri was so concerned with the temperature that he asked if the game against Pavia could be switched to a later kick-off time. The request fell on deaf ears and by 3pm on Sunday afternoon, pitch-side temperatures at the Stadio Campo Italia had soared to an incredible 50 degrees Celsius. Despite the heat, the players put on an excellent display, the match finished 2-2 with Ciro Ginestra and Andrej Galibnov scoring for the hosts and  Filippo Falco and Andrea D’errico replying for the visitors. Ginestra should have ensured all three points for Sarri’s side but he missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time.
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Lega Pro Season Preview – Part 1

On Sunday September 4 the new Lega Pro season kicks off in the Peninsula after another summer of turmoil in the third and fourth tiers of Italian football. The past three months has seen new regulations introduced by Lega President Mario Macalli as he tries to stop lower league football going into financial meltdown.

Lega Pro badge

The season kick off is imminent

In order to try to get all clubs on an even keel, Macalli decided to introduce an inscription fee for entry into both C1 (division 3) and C2 (division 4). The result of this has seen a huge reduction of teams taking part in this season’s championship. After weeks of appeals from various clubs desperately trying to find the 300,000 Euro fee for C2 and the 600,000 Euro fee for C1, Lega Pro has been reduced to four divisions (two in C1 and two in C2) rather than the traditional five. It is the fourth tier that has seen the biggest change, losing an entire division due to the financial deficiencies of clubs way down the Italian footballing pyramid.
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