ROME: Chievo Verona, once competitors in the Champions League, have been expelled from Italy’s Serie B, effectively declaring them bankrupt, and their place will be taken by Cosenza.

The Flying Donkeys have lost their last appeal.

Every club in Italy must prove their financial status before being allowed to register for the new season, minimising the risk any side could go bankrupt during a campaign.

Chievo were not allowed to register, as they had outstanding tax payments, and their appeals were all rejected.

Cosenza have been promoted back into Serie B instead, filling the gap in the 2021-22 fixture list that had been drawn up with an ‘x’.

It means Chievo are effectively bankrupt and must begin again from Serie D, the amateur division.

They were nicknamed the Flying Donkeys by rivals Hellas Verona, who joked donkeys would fly when Chievo were in Serie A.

That happened in 2001 and they would go on to play in the UEFA Cup and even the Champions League preliminary round.

They had reached the Serie B promotion play-offs last season, finishing eighth in the regular table.

There were also exclusions in Serie C, with Carpi, Novara, Sambenedettese and Casertana failing to prove their financial stability.

Paganese are the only club who managed to win their appeal and remain in Serie C.

The clubs promoted to Serie C to fill in the gaps are Latina, Lucchese, Fidelis Andria, Rimini and either Fano or Pistoiese.