S.P.A.L return to the Serie A after a 49-year absence
S.P.A.L ended their 49-year absence from the Italian top division as they earned a historic promotion to the Serie A. Despite loosing their match against relegation-threatened Ternana Calcio by a 2-1 margin, a hefty 75 points from 41 matches for the Ferrara based club ensured a third promotion in the last four seasons for the Biancazzurris.
S.P.A.L, also known as Società Polisportiva Ars et Labor, last played in Serie A during the 1967-68 season when they finished 14th out of the 16 participant clubs. Since then, the club kept struggling in the lower divisions until it went bankrupt in 2005. It was re-founded several times to clear out debts before being re-founded again in 2013, when they merged with fellow fourth division side – A.C. Giacomense, another Ferrara based outfit, to form S.P.A.L 2013.
S.P.A.L earned an instant promotion when they finished their 2013-14 Lega Pro Seconda Divisione season in sixth place, thus earning promotion to the Lega Pro – the third division of the Italian league system. After spending a season in the Lega Pro, where they narrowly missed out on a chance at promotion, S.P.A.L were automatically promoted to Serie B, finishing at the top of their group.
After another remarkable season, they now sit on top of the Serie B table, earning yet another automatic promotion, this time to the promosing lands of Serie A and with a chance at winning the title with a game in hand.
Some interesting facts about S.P.A.L
- S.P.A.L were the first team of Fabio Capello where he spent three seasons from 1964–1967.
- S.P.A.L are the only team in Serie B this season without a foreign player.
- 19-years-old goalkeeper Alex Meret was called up to the Italy national team recently, making him the first S.P.A.L player to represent the national team since the early 1950s.
- 49 years ago, Juventus midfielder Gianfranco Zigoni scored the fateful goal that sealed the club’s relegation. Almost half a century later his son, Gianmarco Zigoni is one of the key members of the S.P.A.L squad, scoring 31 goals in 84 appearances so far.