Long Live Livorno

Welcome to Livorno

Welcome to the ‘Long Live Livorno’ series. Here, I assess the club’s current status and review our first season in Serie D Group E.

Livorno are a team with a rich history of involvement in the topflight of Italian football, but financial problems have arguably been the key reason behind their more recent demise in standing, so much so that the club was re-founded in 1991 and again in 2021. With an ‘ultras’ fan base, renowned for its deep left-wing political views and creating an intimidating home atmosphere, there’s both a strong and loyal following, with high expectations demanded from The Dark Reds faithful.

With both the board and fanbase assuming automatic promotion from Serie D in the first season, in a league where promotion is only offered to the champions, there’s no room for complacency. Having said that, Livorno’s squad is one of the best in the division, and we should certainly be involved in the title challenge conversation.

Playing Squad / Notable Players

Similarly to most clubs in Serie D, the entire squad is employed on part-time contracts, all of which expire at the end of the season. Depending on how things pan out, that could either be a blessing or a curse. I’ll likely try to tie down a few of the best players on slightly longer deals though, to offer some stability with longer term planning.

Cristian Mutton looks to one of the stand-out players in attack, alongside Alessandro Cesarini and Luís Henrique, and there’s some good experience in the middle of the park with veteran midfielder, Andrea Luci. It’s one of the best squad’s in the division overall, but with no recognised wing backs, little depth to the defence, a very youthful goalkeeping department, and an aging midfield.


Tactically, I want to go with a traditional Italian catenaccio-style approach – solid at the back and devastating on the break, with direct and purposeful attacks off the back of solid, defensive foundations. Ultimately, I’ll want to deploy wing-back in the system and we’ll rely on them heavily, but until that position is addressed in the transfer windows, we’ll be utilising a back 3 with attacking width coming from wingers/inside forwards higher up the pitch. See 343 tactic (left), which we’ll be using initially, and 352 tactic (right), which we’ll be aiming to work towards in time.

Tactics board on FM24

Planning stages for tactics


Money is tight, so loan deals and free transfers are the only viable options to improve the squad. The starting balance is £267,227, with a lowly £68,597 transfer budget. We’ll need to be fairly strict on the wages too, with a more sensible/reserved approach – we do have a few players on quite large contracts for the club’s current standing.

Season 1 Review

The first campaign progressed relatively well, as we spent the season hot on the heels of the league’s pacesetters, Grosseto. Come June though, the distance was simply too great. Grosseto were worthy winners in the end with a staggering 83 point total, with just 3 loses all season. We had to settle for second place, failing our performance criteria for the season, though we were of course able to establish our tactical style and patterns of play, setting us up well for another go at the title next season.

Serie D Group E league table 2023/24 (season 1)

Serie D Group E league table 2023/24 (season 1)

The introduction of right wing-back, Nicolò Verzeni, meant that we were able to begin phasing over to my preferred formation, with an interim asymmetric tactic in place, putting a left wing-back high on the scouting priority list.

Asymmetric tactic in FM24

Asymmetric tactic



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