Venezia FC is a club built on water. The team was founded in 1901 and plays their home games at the Stadio Eugenio Berselli, which sits atop a peninsula that rises from the lagoon of Venice and has been submerged under the sea multiple times.
Venezia FC is an Italian football club that has risen to prominence in recent years. The club was founded on the island of Venice, Italy.
The players of Venezia FC celebrated their promotion with a one-of-a-kind procession around the city.
On an open-top bus, most championships and promotions are celebrated. It’s done in a gondola in Venice.
The Italian city is not usually linked with its football team, despite being steeped in history and culture and known worldwide for its architectural splendor and unique canals.
After three bankruptcies in ten years, each of which resulted in relegation to Italian football’s fourth division, that may be about to change.
Following a difficult time in the club’s history, Venezia FC has been promoted back to Serie A after a 19-year hiatus.
Last season, their ten men courageously hung on against Cittadella in the second leg of the play-off final, until a 93rd-minute goal secured victory and prompted scenes of joy among the players and staff at the Pier Luigi Penzo Stadium, only a mile from the city’s famous Piazza San Marco.
Those images were slightly overshadowed when the players went to the city’s canals in a unique celebration of their accomplishment, accompanied by a procession of boats and waved on from the bridges as fans expressed their appreciation on both land and water.
“This is how the club has always celebrated,” said Paolo Poggi, Venezia’s technical director and former striker.
“To witness the excitement on the faces of the players, staff, and owners, and to share it with all the fans on the bridges – it was like a dream, a dream come true for me.”
“If I think of that time, I feel very pleased, particularly after a tough year with Covid,” Poggi said, who began and finished his playing career with his local club before taking up his present position.
“The club has had a lot of difficulties, huge problems, during the last 12 years.” We lost a whole generation of fans, as well as the club’s spirit. It was not an easy task.
“Fortunately, we are still alive, but things might have turned out differently.”
During their promotion procession, Venezia FC’s players were joined by fans in boats, while others watched from bridges.
The one-of-a-kind festivities in the streets and on the canals that followed Venezia’s promotion show a passionately loved club, but one that might have easily vanished.
The 1941 Coppa Italia champions were demoted from Serie A in 2002 after their third season in the top division in four years, and a period of relative stability was shattered overnight when then-owner Maurizio Zamparini sold the club and relocated to Palermo with 12 players and the manager.
In 2005, 2009, and 2015, the club had to start again in the fourth division since it was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Nonetheless, its rebirth as Venezia FC in October 2015, after its third bankruptcy in a decade, will pave the path for three promotions in six seasons.
In 2020-21, Venezia finished fifth in Serie B and won the play-offs to gain promotion.
The club was saved by ambitious American investor Joe Tacopina, whose eye-catching appointment of former AC Milan manager Filippo Inzaghi as manager secured successive promotions to Serie B. The club was then led by current president and former New York Stock Exchange chief Duncan Niederauer to complete its recovery.
Coach Paolo Zanetti has subsequently been rewarded for his efforts with a new contract that runs through 2025, giving Venezia a more secure future.
“I never had the opportunity to play for the club in Serie A, so to be a part of it now means a lot to me,” said Poggi, who grew up near the stadium and used to attend training and games every week before starting his own career.
“Right now, our aim is to make the club as well-known as the city,” he said.
“We play at Italy’s second-oldest stadium, on an island – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
“We want our fans to be proud of our football club because they deserve a great club in this city,” said the club’s president.
“Everything, I believe, is now conceivable. Of course, the most essential thing is to stay in Serie A every season. It’s an important season, and if we can remain in Serie A, I believe we’ll have a great future.”
Paolo Poggi set the record for the quickest goal in Serie A history in 2001 while playing for Piacenza. His eight-second record lasted for 19 years, until Rafael Leao of AC Milan scored after just six seconds in December 2020.
The modest home of Venezia, the Pier Luigi Penzo Stadium, refers to the club’s arduous path to Serie A.
Located on the outskirts of Venice’s main island, its modest 7,400 capacity will be the division’s lowest by a long shot.
However, being encircled on two sides by water and only accessible by boat or a stroll through the renowned city – which draws over 25 million visitors each year – it hints at Venezia’s potential as a worldwide brand.
Indeed, the club’s newest set of attractive home and away jerseys sold out within hours of its debut, demonstrating the club’s increasing popularity.
Stadio di Venezia The second-oldest football stadium in Italy is Pier Luigi Penzo.
“The games are extremely different in the sense that we have to catch a boat to the stadium,” said Harvey St Clair, a Scottish striker who joined the club in 2018 after 12 years at Chelsea.
“It’s a really unusual location to play our matches, and the stadium has a lot of character,” the 22-year-old said.
“With the exception of one player, we all reside on the mainland, so we park our vehicles and board a large team boat that takes us all the way around Venice to the Penzo.”
Venezia will open their Serie A season on the road against Napoli on Sunday, August 22nd, but they will not return to the top level until September 19th, when they face Spezia.
“I’m very interested to see how it goes, how the supporters react, how the new pitch performs, but the most important thing for me is that we’ll be playing at home,” Poggi remarked.
“When you come to watch a game here, the walk to the stadium is a one-of-a-kind experience.” There are plans to construct a new stadium, and this may be feasible in the future, but for the time being, the stadium we have is worth seeing.
“If the fans are as enthusiastic as we are, I believe it will be a huge celebration. Of course, I’m hoping for a positive outcome.”
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