The players and coach of Genoa have vowed to stand by the club while they appeal against their demotion from Serie A to Italy’s third division.

The club were sent down to Serie C1 on Wednesday after the Italian Football League found evidence of match-fixing in the 3-2 win over Venezia that earned them promotion on the final day of last season.

Club president Enrico Preziosi and general manager Stefano Capozucca have been banned for five years from holding positions in the game for their involvement in the affair.

However, despite fears of a wholesale clearout at the club, coach Francesco Guidolin is hopeful that the club’s appeal against their demotion will be successful.

“We’ll continue just as we are until the final word has been said on the subject,” coach Francesco Guidolin was quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday.

“It is a very hard sentence. To tell the truth, I was expecting the team to stay in Serie A with a few penalty points. I hope the decision can be overturned.”

Guidolin’s feelings were echoed by his players.

“I’m shocked. It is a very serious situation. I hope things will improve when we appeal,” defender Andrea Sottil said.