Former Palermo midfielder Fabio Liverani has blasted the club's president.
Maurizio Zamparini is well known for his outspoken ways and treatment of his coaches.
"Constant conflict inevitably takes something out of you in the long run," Liverani told Mediagol.
"While Sabatini was there as a buffer, there were no problems, but when he left the Zamparini tsunami hit us full force.
"When you insult someone every week, it's inevitable the harmony is sucked out of the team. That harmony can be worth an extra seven or eight points over the course of a season.
"I know he's the President and the club owner, so it's his money he invests in the squad, but there are better ways of expressing yourself. For example, keep the locker room unity by not publicly insulting a different player every day.
"Similar things happened two years ago with Fabio Simplicio and Mark Bresciano. This sort of attitude does not help the squad, regardless of who is insulted.
"Sabatini was important in his role as a filter between Zamparini and the team. Criticism should be done to your face, not through newspapers and television."