Spal fires Semplici, who brought club up from Serie C to A

              Bologna's Musa Barrow, left, scores his side's second goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Spal and Bologna at the Paolo Mazza stadium in Ferrara, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020.  (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

FERRARA, Italy (AP) — Leonardo Semplici, the coach who in five years led Spal up from the third division to Serie A, was fired by the Ferrara-based club Monday.

Luigi Di Biagio, a former midfielder for Italy’s national team who recently coached the country’s under-21 squad, was hired to replace Semplici with a contract through the end of the season.

The move comes with Spal in last place in the top division and having conceded 10 goals over its last three matches — all losses.

“The club thanks coach Semplici and his staff for the job they did and the results obtained over these years — results that permitted the club to realize big goals and bring Spal back to Serie A after 49 years,” a club statement said.

Spal finished 17th and 13th in Serie A the past two seasons, respectively.

It’s the 12th coaching change in the 20-team Italian league this season.