Sport

Ink barely dry on Paul Baccaglini, the new tatooed owner of Palermo

Monaco full-back Benjamin Mendy got the nod from Les Bleus' coach Didier Deschamps. See below what's on the menu now for French football pundits, Eric de Meco and Daniel Riolo..
Paul McConville

YOU know how it goes.

You're out having a quiet meal and all of sudden a dozen football fans burst into the restaurant and demand you have their club's crest tattooed on your nipple to demonstrate your loyalty?

No, well that's because you're not Paul Baccaglini, the new owner of Palermo.

Of course, anyone who has seen the Godfather movies knows that if a bunch of Sicilians turn up to see you at a restaurant, it's best to acquiesce to whatever requests they make.

Luckily for Signor Baccaglini, he's already pretty well inked so what harm would a little bird on the chest do?

The fact that he saw fit to display his new tat at a press conference is perfectly in keeping with his character.

Baccaglini is hardly the shy and retiring type, which helps when you take over at one of Italy's most bonkers clubs – and that is a fiercely-contested title.

Described as a TV personality in the USA - which is pretty much code for 'famous for being famous' - he has a particular penchant for posing in the nip with only spaghetti or lemons covering the crown jewels – that and more ink than a squid could manage in a lifetime.

With that in mind, the notion that Baccaglini will bring a more serene and calming influence to the club is a bit hard to get your horse's head around.

Still, he comes after the trigger-happiest of trigger-happy Italian owners in Maurizio Zamparini – the man responsible for consistently clinching that craziest club title (yes, even signing Kyle Lafferty wasn't the most nuts thing he has done).

Zamparini finally stepped down after being given an offer he couldn't refuse from the Italian-American.

The coaching profession will surely breathe a sigh of relief after Zamparini's departure.

The former Palermo president managed to go through 29 different coaches in a 15-year spell at the helm of the Sicilian club which included 40 managerial changes.

On the flipside, he frequently kept 'sacked' coaches on the payroll, just in case he changed his mind – which he did as often as he changed his underwear (I hope) - so stability might derail a lucrative marinara train for Italian coaches.

PALERMO'S new owner will certainly have had a more appetising meal than that which faces a couple of French football pundits.

Eric de Meco and Daniel Riolo reckoned that the chances of Monaco full-back Benjamin Mendy getting an international call-up were so remote that they said they would "eat a rat" if he ever got picked in the France squad.

Well, that was three years ago and this week Mendy got the nod from Les Bleus' coach Didier Deschamps, and he wasn't about the let his doubters forget their ill-informed wager, tweeting a picture of rodent to remind them of their promise.

Gulp.

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