Most Italian soccer fans knew it was coming, but it’s now been made official. Italian Serie A club Parma is bankrupt. The announcement was made on March 19, which was a day after the team’s chairman Giampietro Manenti was busted by Italian police for suspicion of money-laundering. The team’s players claim they haven’t been paid at all this season and it took a court only 10 minutes to declare the last place club as being bankrupt.
It’s believed that Parma is over 100 million euros in debt and they’ve been docked points in the table twice this season. It’s still unclear what will happen next as there are 13 games remaining in the current season. However, the league and several other clubs got together to create a five million euro fund so the team can play its remaining fixtures. Parma has already missed a few games during the campaign as the club couldn’t afford to pay police and stewards at their home ground.
The money placed in the fund comes from fines that the league dishes out to teams for breaching the rules and other things such as crowd trouble. Some officials are concerned that the announcement will mean the team won’t play any more games this season and their opponents in those matches will be awarded with 3-0 default victories. This of course would discredit the league and create havoc with the standings.
Earlier this month Maurizio Beretta, the president of Serie A, told the media, “If the club is passed over to a bankruptcy administrator on March 19, we shall intervene. We’ll decide how exactly to intervene along with the administrator.”
The team has changed ownership twice during the current campaign, but it hasn’t helped their cause. Parma has won a pair of UEFA Cups in its history, which came in 1995 and 1999. They also won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1993 along with a trio of Italian Cups between 1992 and 2002. They’ve never won the league title, but finished in second place in 1997.