The first team from Crotone, Milone Crotone, was founded in 1923 and participated in several minor leagues including Prima Divisione (which later would be known as Serie C). Following World War II, a new club, Unione Sportiva Crotone replaced the previous one, playing seven seasons in Serie C.
In 1963 the club was relegated to Serie D, but returned to the third division the following year, remanining there for fourteen consecutive seasons, missing promotion in 1977 when finishing third behind A.S. Bari and Paganese Calcio 1926. In 1978, following the Italian football league reorganisation, Crotone was relegated to Serie C2 and the following year was declared bankrupt. A new club, Associazione Sportiva Crotone, begun competing again in the Prima Categoria (eighth division).
Crotone was promoted to Serie C2 in 1984–85, but only for one season. The team's name was changed to Kroton Calcio, and the club was promoted again to C2 after the 1986–87 season, where it played until 1991. A second bankruptcy led to the foundation of Football Club Crotone Calcio with Raffaele Vrenna as chairman (he was often suspected of collaboration with local mafia), starting in the Promozione (7th level). Crotone gained successive promotions to Serie C2 and C1, winning in the playoffs against Locri and Benevento Calcio, respectively.