ROME: Parma, past winners of the UEFA Cup and Cup-winners Cup, have been confirmed as bankrupt and relegated to Serie D, Italian football’s semi-professional fourth division writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The club were relegated after finishing bottom of Serie A this past season and were placed in administration by an Italian civil court in March.
Parma have been on a long slide from grace ever since financial backer Parmalat collapsed in 2003 in what was labelled “Europe’s biggest bankruptcy.”
The company, owned by local businessman Calisto Tanzi, had a high profile not only through its financing of Parma but sponsorships of world champion racing drivers Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet.
Parma, in the 1990s, won two UEFA Cups and a Cup-winners Cup and finished second to Juventus in the league in 1997. Star players included goalkeeper Giovanni Galli (Italy), defenders Fernando Couto (Portugal) and Néstor Sensini (Argentina), midfielders Juan Veron (Argentina) and Dino Baggio (Italy) plus forwards such as Tomas Brolin (Sweden), Faustino Asprilla (Colombia), Gianfranco Zola (Italy) and Hernan Crespo (Argentina).
In February, after the club had bounced from one owner to another, the team’s league games were temporarily suspended on the orders of a local court because of claims over unpaid debts.
American-Italian baseball player Mike Piazza and Italian Giuseppe Corrado were reported to be heading separate possible rescue bids. But Corrado walked away from talks on Sunday night as did Piazza the following day.
An announcement on the club’s website said: “The administrators of Parma FC, Dr Angelo Anedda and Dr Alberto Guion, communicated that as of 14.00 today, June 22 2015, no offers have been received for the sporting rights of the club.
“In the coming hours the administrators will meet with the creditor’s committee and the bankruptcy judge Dr Pietro Rogato to make the necessary arrangements for the bankruptcy proceedings.”
In due course the ‘sports title’ will be put out to tender and a new club with a similar name will have to start all over again.
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