The 1980s


The 1980s are remembered for the arrival of the Pontello family at the helm of Fiorentina, and for ten years they would be the majority shareholders of the Viola club. The decade saw some highs and lows, culminating with the sale of Roberto Baggio and the subsequent sale of the club to the Cecchi Gori family. In the early 1980s though, Fiorentina enjoyed a period of technical success that peaked with the second place to Juventus in the 1981/82 season, a year that ended in controversial fashion, and third place in 1983/84. In particular the 1981/82 season left many doubts: the season saw Fiorentina top the table after the first half of the season, and the race with the Bianconeri lasted up until the last moment when, level on points, the two teams had different fortunes on the final day: Juventus won 1-0 in Catanzaro with a penalty scored by Brady with 15 minutes to play; Fiorentina couldn’t manage more than a 0-0 draw in Cagliari after a contentiously disallowed Graziani goal. It seemed as though the Pontello family could have gifted Florence their third Scudetto, instead economic problems slowly upset the stability of the club, as one by one they had to sell off their best players: Passarella, Massaro, Galli to name a few. Even Roberto Baggio, was sold to Juventus on the eve of the Italia ’90 World Cup, and the day after the UEFA Cup final, lost against the same Juventus side (with the results being 1-3 in Turin and 0-0 on the neutral ground of Avellino). The sale of Baggio to Juventus led to angry protests from the fans towards the Pontello family, who one month later were forced to sell the club to Mario Cecchi Gori.
With Cecchi Gori, the enthusiasm returned.

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