In 1990, SPAL obtained the second worst result of its history with tenth place in Serie C2. Also in 1990, the club was bought out by CoopCostruttori, a genuine giant of the construction sector in the period. The President of the cooperative, Giovanni Donigaglia from Argenta (Ferrara), became the new president. Alongside Coop Costruttori, some of the old members, including the ex-president Ravani above all, retained minority interests.
Thanks to this configuration, SPAL found itself with great access to financial resources, as had never before been the case. In two seasons, the team gained the double rise from Serie C2 to Serie C1 and from this to Serie B. In the first case, after a victorious playoff in Verona against Solbiatese, in the second dominating the championship, with the return of Giovan Battista Fabbri as coach, Giancesare Discepoli as deputy coach. On the field, there was an exciting team that warmed the hearts of fans, exceeding 20,000 spectators at the “Paolo Mazza” stadium, thanks to players who entered the hearts of Ferrara, like Giorgio Zamuner, Andrea Bottazzi, Andrea Mangoni, Andrea Messersì, Massimo Mezzini, Roberto Labardi, Michele Paramatti, and the captain Beppe Brescia.
Once in Serie B, the team was totally revolutionised to attempt an immediate landing in Serie A. They dreamed big and, in the city, there were those who advanced the idea of a European Cup SPAL since, after all, neither enthusiasm nor economic opportunities were lacking.
The huge, excessive financial means were not, however, accompanied by the necessary planning. The double-promotion group was dismantled to purchase players who weren't sufficiently motivated or who were technically unsuited for the cause. The team was demoted the same year, despite an intense head-to-head match with Fidelis Andria in the last part of the tournament.
After three attempts to return to Serie B (with two eliminations in playoffs at the hands of Como), the president Donigaglia decided to reduce the commitments of CoopCostruttori and, at the same time in 1996, transferred the president’s appointment to Vanni Guzzinati, remaining in the role of “patron”. A season that culminated with the demotion to Serie C2 followed, SPAL losing the relegation playoffs to Alzano Virescit.
With the team having fallen to its historical low, Donigaglia reassumed the presidency and immediately spurred an ascent: he entrusted the task of training the team to the expert Ferrara sports director Roberto Ranzani (Serie B veteran with Ravenna) who chose De Biasi as coach and, confirming just 3 players from the previous year, formed a genuine battleship bringing players of the calibre of Cancellato, Fimognari, Pierobon, and the expert Fausto Pari to Ferrara.
The team immediately reconquered Serie C1 at the end of an exciting battle with Rimini (70 final points). The following year (1998), Ranzani was the star of a summer transfer market, with prudent choices aimed at additionally strengthening an already very competitive framework. After an excellent start, a crisis in results occurred, which coincided with the double, long-term injury of the striker Cancellato. In the end, this cost them their playoff dream, but the team still attained victory in the Coppa Italia Serie C. With the failure to achieve the important goals that the city had now placed some hope in, the championship final led, however, to some misunderstandings between the club and technical leadership, which resulted in the failure to keep the coach De Biasi.
The following years comprised rather unremarkable championships: the most interesting player of that period was certainly Sergio Pellissier, who arrived for 2 championships on loan from Chievo.