Ballardini back in for Novellino at Palermo

Palermo owner Maurizio Zamparini has vowed to stick with newly-appointed head coach Davide Ballardini even if the club are relegated from Serie A this season.

Ballardini returned to the helm at Stadio Renzo Barbera this week as a replacement for Walter Novellino, who was sacked in the wake of the Rosanero's 3-0 defeat to Lazio on Sunday.

Novellino had lasted just one month in the hotseat after losing three of his four games in charge, and Ballardini becomes the ninth appointment by Zamparini in a tumultuous campaign that has seen seven different coaches come and go.

Giuseppe Iachini held the reins for the opening 12 games of the season before making way for Ballardini in November, but he was surprisingly shown the door in January. The merry-go-round then went into overdrive as Fabio Viviani, Giovanni Tedesco, Giovanni Bosi (twice), Iachini and Novellino all served very brief spells in the dugout from January to April.

Ballardini has seven games to keep the Sicilian outfit up – they are currently 18th in the league standings, but tied with 17th-placed Carpi on 28 points.

However, Zamparini insists his compatriot will still have a job next season, regardless of the club's fate.

"For the first time it's in the contract that he'll stay if we stay up," the Italian businessman said. "And he's prepared to remain even if we go down to Serie B, which is fine with me. I'll fight over a lot of things with him but not football."