Frosinone is a healthy reality in Italian football
Tradition, sustainability, innovation: The fight against the big boys.
«If redemption does not come, there will be no drama, the most important thing will be not to repeat the same mistakes of the past». With this statement from its president, Frosinone's 2023-2024 season opened in the summer – the third in its history in Serie A. A season that started with a squad suitable for the category as defined by many at the start of the championship , was unsuitable, so far 23 points in 22 Days and thirteenth place in Serie A. But above all, it is a victory for a club of this type to be “among the greats” for the third time in seven years and shows how much the work is paying off for the Ciociaria -Club with what – whatever the outcome – is likely to be the best season in their history.
In fact, in its two years in the top category, Frosinone has achieved two 19th places: 2015/2016 (31 points) and 2018/2019 (25 points). In the meantime, however, it has always committed itself to sustainable development and has always maintained and improved itself manages to avoid the risk of a setback to Benevento or Crotone (now in Serie C). They reached the quarter-finals of the Italian Cup for the first time and were clearly defeated by Juventus. But what lies behind a club that has managed to survive years of relegation and stabilize itself season after season?
From near-failure to fame
In a world increasingly dominated by investors, often from abroad, Frosinone not only keeps alive a tradition that is disappearing – that of Presidential fan, local and rooted entrepreneur on the territory – but aims to make economic stability its strength. Maurizio Stirpes Frosinone has been playing excellently in the Serie B championship for years with sporadic appearances in the top flight, yet they have a growth project that goes beyond results (and in fact has only unexpectedly accelerated some results). And that represents a big difference compared to many Serie B clubs, which have better economic resources but have a medium to long-term growth strategy that is not so clear.
The Canaries’ actual “sliding door” opens on October 28, 2020, when he is elected sports director Guido Angelozzi, appointed to replace the outgoing Ernesto Salvini. His arrival is not a coincidence: in the past, Stirpe would have wanted him in his team, in the 2004-2005 season to be precise, but at that time there was a contract with Luciano Gaucci's Perugia, a character who is not exactly easy to deal with could handle. However, in 2020, Angelozzi inherits a squad full of very expensive contracts for the club's treasury, which, as the president himself explained in a recent interview – somewhat veiled – was on the verge of possible bankruptcy.
The former Sassuolo and Spezia manager is taking the situation into his own hands, making “strong sales” like those of flagship Federico Dionisi and other high-salary players. After relegation from the top flight in the 2018-2019 season, the club actually found itself faced with players who had failed to ensure survival and were a problem for a relegated club. The “Mistakes must not be repeatedwhat President Stirpe spoke about They have first and last names: Joel Campbell (1.5 million per season), Sportiello (1.1 million), Goldaniga (1 million) and Ariaudo (1.2 million), to name a few. But even before that there is the idea of having to compete with the other Serie A teams on their own territory.
However, through a turnaround and investment in youth, the Yellow-Blues have revolutionized the squad within three years and, after a season of adaptation (a tenth place in Serie B 2020-2021), have begun to reap the fruits of such a risky project ( in the field) are considered economically sustainable. A project that, under the leadership of Fabio Grosso, has brought back the prestige of Serie A to an important city 43,000 residents and 16,000 in the stadium every Sunday. With the seventh salary in the championship, Frosinone had last season in every sense of the word dominated the tournament: 63 goals scored, 26 goals conceded (best attack and defense) and 24 wins out of 38.
«We must not think of hunting those who are more structured than us, using the same means, even if it is obviousInequality of resourcesavailable. The economic energies that many clubs muster are not comparable. We would risk jeopardizing the results achieved and undoing the extraordinary efforts.”.
Maurizio Stirpe at Corriere dello Sport in July
Young people, we said, enhanced by Frosinone. In the recent past, there are two names in particular that Angelozzi found in his search for a place that no one could have remembered. The first is Federico Gatti, acquired for 150,000 euros by Pro Patria in Serie C and, after a season as protagonist in Serie B, resold to Juventus: an operation that recorded a capital gain of 7 million euros on the balance sheet. The second is instead Daniel Bolocawas scouted several times by Angelozzi's scouts and arrived at Frosinone in November 2020 after being released by Fossano, a Serie D club. A month later he had already received the keys to the midfield.
In the summer, Dionisis Sassuolo came knocking, bringing him to the Black-Greens with 10 million and the cards of Harroui and Marchizza. “If you’re without a team, don’t worry, I’ll come get you.”», Angelozzi revealed that he had confided to him in the presentation press conference on the occasion of his arrival in Frosinone. But contrary to what has become the stereotype of the cadet championship, the yellow and blue press on young people also improve in Serie A: The new “golden age” of Juventus under the name Kaio Jorge-Soulè-Barrenechea is growing in Ciociaria.
Frosinone's sports director was impressed by their quality during a friendly match between Juventus and the U23 team, where, among others, Kaio Jorge scored a hat-trick and returned to the pitch after a very long injury of around 400 days, and decided to take them with him. But it's not just the talents of Juventus: one of the last coupes of the summer season was the loan of Reinier, comes from Real Madrid. THE Blancos They were looking for a place where they could develop their talent in peace. Frosinone instead of a midfielder who can guarantee a quality game to the new coach, Eusebio Di Francesco. A combination of names that was truly unthinkable for the fans who supported their team in the Serie C championship as recently as 2014.
Of course, some may argue, it's a team built on many Loansabout young footballers who were upgraded and then “given back”.
But apart from the fact that many Serie A clubs abuse loans, this is one too Phase of development and growth of frosinonewhich cannot be so quickly dismissed as if it were a branch of other clubs, especially Juventus. Angelozzi has, in fact, built a far-sighted team in synergy with Eusebio Di Francesco, successor to Fabio Grosso (who, for reasons that are never entirely clear, decided not to renew his contract) and coach hoping for redemption, another gamble by the duo Stirpe-Angelozzi – With Di Francesco, the sports director also made the fortunes of Sassuolo.
Frosinone took the lead in the summer Monterisi from Lecce for 125,000 euros (now his card is worth 3 million) and Arjion Ibrahimovic Free transfer from FC Bayern Munich – the German will be bought out for a sum of around 3 million euros, with the Bavarian club retaining a severance payment claim set at 11. The starting rotation also includes full-back, the right-footed Oyono, who has been watched by many Serie A clubs since last season and has emerged as one of the best in the role in Serie B; Giuseppe Caso, the playmaker at the center of some transfer rumors, and Harroui, who scored points in Naples and Atalanta at the start of the season before being injured for a good three months.
Compared to last season's team, almost everything has changed (Turati, Caso, Mazzitelli and Oyono are the only “survivors”), but not the backbone: the captain Luca Mazzitelli, after joining on loan from Monza last season, has been bought out permanently. Then pay attention to the Brazilian Mateus Lusuardi, central defender, born in 2004: Coming from the Criciùma U20 team, he was thrown into the fray in the 0-4 win against Napoli and put in a great performance in his first professional game. With a little “luck” this could become another pearl discovered by Angelozzi.
Frosinone is identity, tradition and innovation
The ideas put into practice by the Stirpe-Angelozzi-Di Francesco trio are proof that it is not only possible to play good football without accumulating red balances, but also to “win”. However, Frosinone is not only innovation, but also tradition: All sponsors that will appear on the game jerseys from this year belong to the Ciociaria territory. Over the summer, during the event where the new uniforms were presented to the press, it was Stirpe himself who focused on this detail:
“Winning the Serie B championship brought us a lot of attention and sponsors. However, we wanted to build a bond with them best realities in the areaso that they can be enhanced by our brand.”
And now “Iper Dem”, a supermarket chain that has invested heavily in the Ciociaria area, has arrived on the current season's jerseys, on the back of the jerseys; “Acqua Fiuggi” as main sponsor and “Orsolini” on the sleeves. And the territory itself provided the company with great help in 2018 to complete the construction of its own stadium. The Benito Stirpe and his additional works were actually created thanks to him 1.5 million euros collected from the “Frosinone Bond”.a real crowdfunding campaign.
Investors who chose to invest in Maurizio Stirpe's club at the time made a profit of 8% as the bonds closed in March 2023; Frosinone, on the other hand, is a real gem that few other Italian clubs can boast. Having your own stadium allows you to maximize box office revenue and also manage all the related activities and services that a stadium guarantees. But the investment wasn't just limited to the Benito Stirpe: the president actually plans to rebuild one Sports center in the heart of Frosinonewhich makes the team's bond with the territory even stronger.
It is difficult to predict how the season will end: after an excellent start, the team suffered a series of consecutive defeats, which led to a deterioration in the table situation. Stirpe expressed his opinion on this subject back in the summer, immediately after the arrival of Eusebio Di Francesco – who many thought had already been fired before the classic panettone: “For us, saving ourselves would be like winning the Champions League». What is certain is that this will definitely remain a historic season for Frosinone. And almost certainly the fans will also make the corresponding requests, the best in the history of the Ciociaria club.
Cover photo via Frosinone Calcio /