The Dal Cin Years
The 1993/1994 Season, Serie A
In the year 1993/1994, the team management is still in Pippo Marchioro’s hands. For Ac Reggiana this is the first Serie A season after the ’20 years. Franco Dal Cin, on behalf of the Fantinel family, acquires the majority of the club’s shares, and this means a significant change regarding club’s management. Right from the start, Dal Cin shows to the city the plan for a new stadium that ought to be built thanks to the interventions of the city’s institutions, but, mainly thanks to the fans who will subscribe multiyear season passes.
On the sporting front, the team has been strengthening thanks to the signings of players like Taffarel, Paulo Futre and most of all Michele Padovano, who will be the best scorer of the team totaling ten goals by the end of the season. After a very slow start, the team steps up from December onwards (Reggiana defeats Inter with a historic 1-0 with Beppe Scienza on the scoresheet) and fights to avoid relegation until the last day of the season. Reggiana and Piacenza are tied on the table, with the latter who plays one day before the granata and draws 0-0 in Parma. Reggiana plays in Milan against Ac Milan, that has won Serie A already and wins with an incredible scorcher by Massimiliano Esposito and a world class save by Claudio Taffarel. With these three points, Reggiana avoids relegation and stays in Serie A. The 10.000 fans who followed the team in San Siro erupted in a unique moment of joy.
The 1994/1995 Season, Serie A
The 1994/95 season is not even close, regarding joy and emotions, to the one of the year before. The club fired Marchioro for Ferrari who has fired himself for Vitale, and the season turned out to be a failure. The granata put only 12 points on the table in the first half of the season and did even worse in the second one gaining only 5 points and being officially relegated to five days in advance of the season finale. In April the new city stadium, called Giglio, was completed (in just eight months) which was officially inaugurated in a game against Juve. Bianconeri won 1-2 with a double by Roberto Baggio and one goal by Padovano).
The 1995/1996 Season, Serie B
Carlo Ancelotti is the man at the helm of a team that wants revenge. Ancelotti is a manager in his first season after a long and filled up by trophies career. The start of the season is almost a disaster with the team that falls in the relegation positions with Ancelotti who is on the brink to be fired several times.But thanks to Reggiana’s manager abilities and its player’s skills (in the end 13 different players scored for the team) the team starts rolling and keeps the hopes of Serie A alive by the end of the first half of the season already. The team blossoms in the second half of the season beating Salernitana fierce competition and achieve the 4th place and get promoted by winning in Verona 1-0 (goal by Pietro Strada), the 2nd of June 1996.
The 1996/1997 Season, Serie A
The 1996/97 starts with news on the club’s ownership. The majority shares of the clubs pass hands from the Fantinel family to Mr. Luciano Ferrarini. To manage the team was named Mircea Lucescu who will get fired as the season went on and subbed by Mr. Oddo. The team that achieved the promotion just one year before has been completely turned upside down, and rebuilt in a lousy way. The season turns into a major let down, with the team piling up only 19 points by the end of the season and is virtually relegated by the end of the first half of the season.
The 1997/1998 Season, Serie B
Mr. Oddo is still the manager of the team, but the club is in trouble hit by the massive debt created by the construction of the new stadium. The goal is to be back in Serie A right away. The makeup of the team has changed a lot and the players who remained from last season were Galli, Simutenkov. Gregucci, Cevoli, and Cherubini and have been signed players like Evani and Silenzi who were two huge disappointments. The only positive note on offense was Banchelli who scored ten goals, but neither the change of the team manager (Oddo for Varrella) shook things up for the team who finished the season in a disappointing 10th place in the final table of the Serie B.
The 1998/1999 Season, Serie B
That year should’ve been the one to turn things around for Reggiana. It ended in an epic fail, economically (the burden of the debts got bigger and bigger) outside the pitch and the sports side of it on the pitch. Varrella remained as the club’s manager who gets fired soon after the start of the season and Perotti came in as a substitute. Things turned from bad to worse as the season went on, as Perotti was fired and Speggiorin-Gregucci finished the season in the dugout for the granata. On the pitch, the squad was a mixture of 38 players, some of them with a name and a reputation like Protti, Cherubini, Guidoni, Marasco, Margiotta, Maspero, Morello, Neri, Pagotto and Sullo. A team that should have fought to go in Serie A but ended up in Serie C1 after ten years.
The 1999/2000 Season, Serie C1
During that season, the club wears the burden of the debts created by the new stadium construction. Thus the objective is to build a competitive team within the economic constraints given by the situation. Gregucci and Speggiorin are still the managers of the team. Unfortunately, the team underperforms, and the duo is fired and replaced by Giorgio Rumignani. The turnover is still high, and a streak of bad results down the stretch bring the team on the brink of the disaster that is avoided thanks to a goal scored by Ciullo against the already promoted Siena in the last match of the season.
The 2000/2001 Season, Serie C1
It is the last year of Luciano Ferrarini ownership. Three managers take turns in managing the team: Gigi Maifredi, then Claudio Testoni and finally Salvatore Vullo. The objective is to give space to the youngsters of the club’s Academy and on players on loan or signed for free. Andrea Rabito was one of the few bright note of the season with 11 goals scored. The problem of the team, however, is the defense that concedes 53 goals by the end of the season. Reggiana ought to earn is right to stay in Serie C1 through a play out round against Alzano Virescit. After winning the first home game 2-1 (Double by Cherubini), the hero is the goalkeeper Squizzi who saves a penalty in the second game and keeps Reggiana in Serie C1.
The 2001/2002 Season, Serie C1
The club’s negative trend seems to be neverending and the 2001/2002 season is no different from the other. Too many players signed (34 by the end of the season) and too many managers fired (Mossini in place of Vullo) and the battle to avoid relegation goes through the play out again.
Alzano Virescit is still the opponent, who wins the first leg 2-1. In the second one, Reggiana goes up with Santunione’s goal. Alzano draws a level with 8 minutes left to the end, and it’s a young guy from Nigeria – Jero Shakpoke – to score the winning goal and saves the team from relegation.
Fans – tired of living so many disappointing seasons – erupted in a public protest filling the most important square of Reggio Emilia asking for a change in the club’s management and ownership.
That change happens after long contractual talks. The new owner is Ernesto Foglia who nominates Chiarino Cimurri as the new club’s president.