|Full name||Sorrento Calcio s.r.l.|
|League||Lega Pro Seconda Divisione/B|
|2012-13||Lega Pro Prima Divisione/A, 15th|
Sorrento Calcio is an Italian association football club from Sorrento, Campania, the club was founded during 1945. Currently the club plays in Lega Pro Prima Divisione after starting a promotion streak in 2005–06 when they were promoted from Serie D, followed by promotion from Serie C2.
The club has spent most of its history in the lower regions of the Italian football system. Sorrento reached as high as Serie B during the early 1970s, where they recorded their overall highest finish with a 19th place in the 1971–72 season. In addition to this and the championships they have won at lower levels, Sorrento have also won the Serie D Italian Cup.
The club was founded in 1945 and after playing lower divisions, they earned the right to be enrolled into the Promozione Campania league for the 1949–50 season. Sorrento finished bottom of the league, in a season which was dominanted by stronger local rivals such as Avellino and Casertana.
Under the name Flos Carmeli; which is a Roman Catholic reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary meaning Faith, Love, Obedience and Service, the club returned to the league during the mid-1950s. This time their positioning was more stable, and they had a new ground in the form of Stadio Italia. The name of the Sorrentine club was changed back to the original Sorrento Calcio in 1957.
In the late 1960s, Sorrento began to become far more successful on the field, they achieved successive promotions. First they won Promozione Campania by three points and then in their debut Serie D season of 1968–69 they were champions on goal difference, after finishing level on points with Torre del Greco side Turris.
1970s league success
The side from the province of Naples experienced Serie C level football for the first time in the 1969–70 season. Sorrento achieved a respectable 4th place finish above more famous clubs such as Lecce and Messina, as well as regional rivals Salernitana and Avellino. In the following season, Sorrento improved further and were crowned champions of Serie C; just one point above Salernitana to clinch the title.
With players such as Giuseppe Bruscolotti in the squad, Sorrento were entered into Serie B for the 1971–72 season. It was considered a huge achievement for the small provincial side to reach the division in the first place; many of the teams who they played against had a larger stadium capacity than the entire population of Sorrento.
Although they finished second from bottom and were relegated by the end of the season, Sorrento recorded several very good results. The most impressive was a 4–0 victory against Brescia on 30 April 1972. They also beat Livorno twice, and Bari 1–0 away.
After their relegation Sorrento were unable to bounce back, instead being forced to battle it out in Serie C during the 1970s from then on; the highest position they were able to end a season with was a 4th place in 1975–76 sandwiched between Bari and Messina. For 1978–79 the league system was slightly reorganised and the club were placed into Serie C2; the fourth level of Italian football. A runners-up spot was achieved in 1984–85, where Sorrento finished just one point behind champions Licata of Sicily; the runners-up spot was enough to give Sorrento promotion up into Serie C1.
Sorrento were relegated from Serie C1, at the bottom of the table during their first season, for the rest of the 1980s Sorrento were down in Serie C2. A further slide came in 1989–90 when they were put down into Campionato Interregionale (today's equivalent is Serie D), it is presumed this was due to financial reasons as Sorrento actually finished 5th in Serie C2 the season prior to that.
The now deflated Sorrento were relegated from the Interregionale league in 1990–91 with a 15th place finish, the club was put into the Promozione Campano league. They missed out on promotion to Boscoreale, the following season Sorrento finished as runners-up to Gragnano and were thus not promoted once more. Finally at the third attempt, Sorrento Calcio achieved their promotion out of the Promozione Campano league via winning the championship of 1993–94.
Revival: mid-1990s onwards
The club were now in Eccellenza Campania and spent their first three seasons in the league within the top 7 places. Under the coaching of Amato, Sorrento were victorious and crowned Ecellenza winners in 1997–98. They were entered into C.N.D. (which was the name of what is today Serie D), Sorrento were consistent in their first two seasons back in the league, ending the seasons 5th and 6th respectively.
2001–02 was a blip on the map for the Sorrento Calcio revival, they finished 14th, tied on points with a club that was relegated that season; Internapoli. The club managed to turn things around in following seasons, and by 2005–06 achieved a double, they were crowned champions of Serie D and also won the Coppa Italia Serie D.
From 2007-08 to today Lega Pro Prima Divisione
Sorrento competed in the Italian 3rd division during the 2007–08 season and managed to maintain their status by finishing in 10th place 10 points away from the relegation positions. Their status in the division was further consolidated in the following season although the side only finished 1 point above the relegation positions in 11th place. This position was improved upon in the 2009-2010 season where the team finished in 9th position, although again only 3 points above a relegation place. This season saw the arrival of Paulinho who scored 15 goals in 33 games on loan from Livorno, it was the following season, however, when he would really hit the headlines and achieve cult status in Sorrento.
At the start of the 2010–11 season, Sorrento were top of the table Serie C1 by November, and faced a strong possibility of promotion to Serie B. This was largely due to the goals scored by Paulinho Betanin who had weighed in with 24 league goals (in 29 games) by the end of the season. Promotion was not forthcoming, however, and by finishing the season in second place Sorrento qualified for the Play-offs. Betanin was injured for the final games of the season and did not feature in the play-offs. For the Semi-final they drew Hellas Verona and were unlucky to lose the first leg 2-0 away at the Bentegodi. The second leg saw a 1-1 draw at Stadio Italia and by losing 3-1 on aggregate Sorrento did not qualify for the Play-off final. While Sorrento had not played well enough over the two legs to reach the final, the second leg was marred by controversy. According to a local newspaper the visiting fans of Hellas Verona (a team strongly associated with hooliganism in Italy) disrespected the minute's silence for fallen Italian soldiers in Afghanistan and proceeded to shout racist chants at Sorrento's Senegalese Player Niang. Then following the game, as recounted in the local newspaper Positano news, many local shops were apparently the scene of violence as the Verona fans rampaged the streets. Sorrento failed in their bid for promotion to serie B.
It had a two point deduction for the start of the involvement in a match fixing scandal involving Juve Stabia. This was a separate issue from the scandal that involved the higher profile Italian clubs in 2011. Despite this deduction Sorrento performed well for much of the 2011-2012 season and by February 2012 lay in 5th place, with star striker Ciro Ginestra leading the way with 13 goals in 22 games. The local derby at home vs Avellino also saw a return for the club legend Paulinho who was in the stands for the game and was greeted like a returning king by the tifosi. Ginestra went on to score 21 goals in the Lega Pro, becoming Capocannoniere, including two goals against Pro Vercelli on the penultimate game of the season.
The team failed in their second successive year to gain promotion to Serie B, however, despite finishing 4th and qualifying for the play-offs. They drew Carpi Carpi for the two-legged semi final and lost the first leg 1-0 at home. The second leg was played away at Carpi in Emilia Romangna on 27 May 2012, and although Sorrento triumphed 1-0 (goal by Carlini), it was not enough to see them through to the play-off final. As Carpi had finished higher in the league than Sorrento they were awarded a place in the final and Sorrento were confined to the Lega Pro for a further season. The Manager Ruotolo expressed his regret at the result and that Sorrento and their fans deserved better.
Then on 8 June 2012, twelve days after the play-off defeat, disaster struck the club as the incumbent president Mario Gambardella announced his decision to step down with immediate effect and for the club to be placed into the hands of the Mayor of the town Giuseppe Cuomo. He cited financial difficulties  This came as a massive shock to the club and due to these unplanned and extreme circumstances many players (including Ginestra) and the manager left the club over the course of the summer. The club managed to stay afloat and to register for the 2012-2013 season thanks to the financial backing of its sponsors and the guidance of Cuomo, but there was serious doubt over whether the club would be able to continue unless a new president was found. After a turbulent few weeks Sorrento emerged with a new president, but the crisis had caused problems with them as tennants of Stadio Italia in Sorrento and until this could be cleared up Sorrento Calcio would have to play their home games at the Simonetta Lamberti stadium the home of neighbours Pro Cavese in Cava de' Tirreni. The club presented its new manager Giovanni Bucaro to the fans and media on 21 July 2012 at the Hotel Continental in Sorrento. Sorrento Calcio began their season with a 0-0 draw at home to Gubbio.
Notable former players
Serie C: 1
- Champions: 1970–71
Serie C2: 1
- Champions: 2006–07
- Runners-up: 1984–85
Serie D: 2
- Champions: 1968–69, 2005–06
- Champions: 2008–09
- Champions: 2005–06
- Champions: 1997–98
- Champions: 1967–68, 1993–94
- Runners-up: 1992–93
- "Sorrento Calcio – History 1949–60". SorrentoCalcio.com. 26 June 2007.
- "Lay Carmel in Britain – Flos Carmeli". Carmelite.org. 26 June 2007.
- "Sorrento Calcio – History 1960s". SorrentoCalcio.com. 26 June 2007.
- "Italy 1969–70". RSSSF.com. 26 June 2007.
- "Italy 1970–71". RSSSF.com. 26 June 2007.