Associazione Calcio ChievoVerona (more commonly called Chievo Verona or simply Chievo) is an Italian professional football club named after and based in a suburb of Verona, Veneto, and owned by Paluani, a cake company and the inspiration for their original name, Paluani Chievo. The club is nicknamed alternatively gialloblu, mussi volanti or Ceo, and shares its stadium with Hellas Verona which is the 42,160 seater Marcantonio Bentegodi stadium. Chievo slipped into the relegation zone on the final match day of 2006-2007 and was demoted to Serie B, but subsequently rebounded to clinch promotion back to the top-flight in their first year in the cadetteria.
In 1992, President Luigi Campedelli, who returned at the helm of the club two years before, died of a heart attack, and his son Luca Campedelli, aged just 23, became the new chairman. Luca Campedelli, the youngest chairman of all Italian professional football clubs, promoted Giovanni Sartori as Director of Football and named Alberto Malesani the new head coach. Under Malesani, the team astonishingly won the Serie C1 and was promoted to Serie B, where city rival Hellas Verona was playing at the time. In 1997, after Malesani signed for Fiorentina, Silvio Baldini was appointed new head coach. The following season, with Domenico Caso as new coach, saw the first dismissal ever in the presidency of Luca Campedelli, with Caso fired and replaced with Lorenzo Balestro.
In 2002/2003, Chievo debuted at the European level but were eliminated in the first round against Red Star Belgrade. The team finished the Serie A season in seventh place, again proving itself one of the most valued Serie A teams. The 2003/2004 season, the last with Del Neri at the helm, saw Chievo ending in ninth place.
The 2004/2005 season is remembered as one of the toughest ever in Chievo's history. Mario Beretta, a Serie A novice from Ternana, was named new coach: after a good start which brought Chievo to a third place behind Juventus and AC Milan, the team slowly lost positions in the Serie A table. Three matches before the end of the league, Chievo was third from last, a position which would relegate it to Serie B. As a last resort Beretta was fired and Maurizio D'Angelo, a highly respected former Chievo player, was appointed temporarily to replace him as coach. Morale improved, and two wins and a tie from the final three matches proved just enough to keep Chievo in Serie A.
In 2005/2006, Giuseppe Pillon of Treviso FBC was appointed as new coach. The team experienced a throwback to the successful Del Neri era, both in style of play and results, and Chievo consequently gained a place in the next UEFA Cup, ending the season in a solid seventh place. However, because of the football scandal involving several top-class teams, all placed before Chievo in the 2005/2006 season, the Flying Donkeys had a chance of playing the next Champions League preliminary phase.
On July 14, 2006, the verdict in the scandal was made public. Juventus, AC Milan and Fiorentina, all qualified for the 2006-07 Champions League, and Lazio, originally inscribed for the 2006-07 UEFA Cup, were all banned from UEFA competition for the 2006/07 season, although AC Milan were allowed to enter the Champions League after their appeal to FIGC. Chievo took up a place in the third qualifying stage of the competition along with AC Milan and faced Bulgarian Levski Sofia. Chievo lost the first leg 2-0 in Sofia and managed a 2-2 home draw on the second leg. Levski advanced to the Champions League group stage on a 4-2 aggregate score, and Chievo was knocked out. As a Champions League third round qualifying loser, Chievo was placed in the UEFA Cup final qualifying round. On August 25, 2006 Chievo was drawn to face Portuguese Braga. The first leg, played on September 14 in Braga, ended in a shock 2-0 win for the Portuguese side. The return match, played on September 28 in Verona, was won by Chievo 2-1. However, the Italian side lost 3-2 on aggregate and was knocked out of any further European competitions.
On October 16, 2006, following a 1-0 defeat against Torino F.C., head coach Giuseppe Pillon was fired, and replaced by Luigi Del Neri, one of the original symbols of the miracle Chievo, who had led the club to Serie A in 2002.
On May 27, 2007, the last match day of the 2006-07 Serie A season, Chievo was one of five teams in danger of falling into the last undecided relegation spot. Needing only a tie against Catania, a direct competitor in the relegation battle, Chievo lost 2-0 playing in the neutral field of Bologna. Simultaneous wins by Parma, Siena and Reggina condemned Chievo to Serie B for the 2007-08 season after six seasons in the senior league.
The current club crest represents instead Cangrande I della Scala, an ancient seignor from Verona.