Sampdoria have been relegated from Serie A down to Serie B for the first time in 12 years after a disappointing 2-0 defeat away at Udinese, the same place where Napoli won the title just a few days ago.
The news comes as little shock to the Sampdoria fan base which has seen the writing on the wall for almost the entirety of the campaign. The poor start to the season under Marco Giampaolo led to the club appointing former Inter midfielder Dejan Stankovic as the coach, but he was able to do very little to stop the rot.
Sampdoria have won just three times this season, with the last coming on March 19 against Hellas Verona. A staggering 23 games have ended in defeat for Sampdoria, five more than Cremonese and Verona, meaning they have been relegated with four games left to play and a points tally of 17.
Stankovic fails in his task at Sampdoria
There was never any doubt that Dejan Stankovic was emotionally invested in his job at Sampdoria, but there was almost no sign on the pitch that he had the coaching acumen to turn the season around.
After the relegation was confirmed, he spoke to DAZN and said: “An enormous sorrow and sadness. We tried and we gave everything. I know that every fan doesn’t want to accept this day, but we fought on the pitch. They were always there for us. This club deserves more because it is beautiful from the outside and from the inside. I hope this situation will be resolved for the better.”
Speaking about his future at the club, Stankovic said: “I can’t say anything about the future, I’m not the person directly involved. These questions are for someone else, I tried and it wasn’t enough. Right now I am very disappointed, I have no words to describe how I feel.”
Relegation may be the least of Sampdoria fans’ worries given President Massimo Ferrero recently stepped down but remains a majority shareholder. There are serious fears for the future of the club from a financial perspective unless he agrees to sell Sampdoria as soon as possible. They could be declared bankrupt this summer, and have also seen city rivals Genoa get promoted to Serie A.