Italian Serie A club Parma has been struggling on and off the pitch in the 2014/15 season and the team has now officially been declared bankrupt by an Italian court. It took all of 10 minutes for authorities to decide its fate on March 18. To make matters worse, Giampietro Manenti, the club’s chairman was arrested just a day earlier during a money-laundering investigation. According to the team’s players, they haven’t received a paycheck this season and are unsure of what will happen next.
The team finished in sixth place last year, but is firmly entrenched in the basement this season with just nine points and is13 points from digging out of the relegation zone. The squad has had points docked from their total twice this year and several games had to be postponed as Parma didn’t have the funds to pay police and security staff at their home ground Tardini Stadium. Court was told that the team is in debt to the tune of $106.65 million (100 million euros). Accountants Alberto Guiotto and Angelo Anedda were appointed as receivers by the court.
But for fans and bettors alike it looks like Parma’s season will carry on for their remaining 13 games. Osvaldo Riccobene, a member of the club’s board told the press, “I believe we’ll play at home on Sunday (March 22) against Torino. Bet365 lists the odds of Parma winning this match at 7/2 with a Torino victory 17/20 and a draw at 5/2. Antonio Mirante, the team’s goalkeeper added, “It’s a positive day for us. At least now we know there are professionals who are handling the situation and have someone we can rely on.”
Throughout the season the players have occasionally had to take the wheel of the team bus themselves as well as wash their own uniforms. The matches that were postponed were awarded to their opponents as default victories and went into the books as 3-0 scores. Earlier in March several other Serie A teams agreed to help set up and emergency fund which would allow Parma to complete the season. Five million euros was donated to it with money the league collected from fines. The other teams felt the league would be compromised if Parma didn’t play the rest of their games and opponents were awarded walkover victories.
The league said it would intervene if the club was declared bankrupt and couldn’t continue to compete. The Serie A will now have to decide how to deal with the matter and make sure all of the games are played. Parma has been sold twice during the 2014/15 season. A Cypriot/Russian group bought the team and then sold it to a conglomerate from Slovenia. However, the financial troubles continued.
Parma has never lifted the Serie A title with their best showing coming in the 1996/97 season when they finished as runners up. However, they have managed to win three Italian Cups, a pair of UEFA Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup in the club’s history. They’ve been managed by the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, who’s currently in charge of Real Madrid, and have boasted world-class players including Hernan Crespo, Gianfranco Zola and Faustino Asprilla.