Genoa C.F.C was the early dominant force of Serie A. The port city of Genova belongs to the two top flight clubs, U.C Sampdoria and Genoa C.F.C. Genoa is the oldest football team in Italy, born in 1897. The team from Liguria won the first championship in 1898.
Prior to 1924 Genoa could be argued as the only team of Genova, winning the league Championship 9 times which makes the team the fourth most winning team in Italy. After 1924 Genoa hasn't won the Scudetto. Other then that Genoa, together with Atalanta, has the record to have won Serie B the most times: 6.
Genoa was the first team of sorts. Setting a precedent for all clubs to follow until modern day; The first team to have a professional paid Manager in 1912: William Garbutt (9 January 1883 - 24 February 1964) A pioneer for Italian Football, became the first manager of an Italian club at the age of 29. Genoa was also the first to recognize and treat a player like a “star player”. Renzo DeVecchi could be argued as the first star player of Italian Calcio, nicknamed “The Son of God”, he would go on to be the first calciatore to collect wages and bonuses for his play on the field while he would also become the first to be transferred for a fee.
After Genoa's domination in the early years they began to fall through the Serie A ranks. Despite a second place finish in the 1927-28 and 1929-30 seasons they got relegated for the first time in their history to Serie B in 1933-34. After this however Genoa won their only Coppa Italia in 1936 beating Roma 1-0.
The post war periode however was nothing to enjoy for Genoa untill the start of the 1960's when the team won the Coppa delle Alpi in 1962 and 1964. The hopes was now that Genoa would return to their strong period in the start of the century. However next season saw them relegate to Serie B once again. Hereafter a series of problems in the club resulted in a relegation to Serie C in 1970.
Throughout the 1970's and 1980's the red-blue team rollercoasted between Serie A and B, sometimes getting promoted the season after the relegation and vice versa. It wasn't until Aldo Spinelli in 1985 bought the club and gave the Genoa fans some hope. The harbour team returned to Serie A in 1989 and achieved a spot in the european tournament UEFA Cup in 1991-92, where they managed to go all the way to the semi-finals, only to be beaten by Ajax. In this tournament Genoa also managed to become the first team to beat Liverpool at their Anfield stadium.
The following seasons however didn't see the team achieve these results again, heavily due to Spinelli's transfer politics. Instead of purchasing big names after departures of key players, Spinelli would rather buy more or less unknown players, so the team would earn money on the transfer market. This was part of the reason that the team ended in Serie B in the 1995-96 season. This didn't stop the team from earning success, as they won the final Anglo-Italian Cup, won over Port Vale 5-2.
From 1997 to 2003 Genoa had three different managers and it was first untill Enrico Preziosi bought the club in 2003 that the club came back on track. This season saw Genoa saved from Serie C1 after controversial standards as the italian football federation decided to expand Serie B to 24 teams. This saw them won Serie B in 2005 but due to a matchfixing scandal saw them relegate to Serie C1. The team hereafter earned to consecutive promotions, mainly thanks to Gian Piero Gasperini who took over the club while the team was in Serie B and returned to the Serie A for the first time in 12 years. They achieved a Europa League spot after the 2008-09 season but the team failed to progress from the early stages.
In the 2010-11 season the team fired Gasperini after some bad results. Former Lazio trainer, who didn't have a good spell at the Biancocelesti, took over for the remaining of the season. Ballardini gave a gift to his former club as he and Genoa reversed a 3-0 defeat to a 4-3 victory over Roma during the season.