Serie A side Parma have officially been declared bankrupt by an Italian court with estimated debts of 100 million euros (£72.3m).
It was only 10 minutes for Parma side to deliver their statement in front of Judge Pietro Rogato. Thursday’s (19/3) hearing was attended by club officials Osvaldo Riccobene and Enrico Siciliano.
Giampietro Manenti, Parma owner, bought the club for one euro in February, but was not present following his arrest, along with 20 other people on charges of money laundering and embezzlement.
“The club’s creditors called for bankruptcy, which was accepted by the prosecutor of the Republic,” told Riccobene to the reporters following the tribunal. “We did not oppose the decision.”
During this season, Parma have already changed hands twice and on both occasions, the buyer, a Russian-Cypriot conglomerate followed by the Slovenia-based Mapi group, were shrouded in mystery.
Parma has been known as the 1999 UEFA Cup winners and currently placed at the bottom of Serie A, 16 points ahead for safety. On the other hand the club have already been docked three points this season for failing to pay the players in time.
In recent months, there have been concerted efforts to help keep the club afloat financially. Two of their recent fixture were called off by court due to the row over unpaid wages and last week, Parma were loaned 5m euros (around £3.5m) by the other Serie A clubs to help the club complete the current season. The club were docked a point by league officials in December in relation to unpaid salaries from July, August, and September 2014.
It still becomes a mystery to their fans whether Parma will be able to fulfill the remainder of their fixtures this season. And the consequence if they are unable to do so, the games will be awarded as 3-0 victories to their opponents.
The club official, Riccobene, is optimistic that Parma will be able to take to the field and play for their home match with Torino this weekend. “I think we should still be able to play on Sunday (22/3),” he said.
Current coach Robert Donadoni steered Parma into this season’s Europa League but they were replaced in the competition by Torino, when the former club owner, Tommaso Ghirardi, failed to pay owed taxes in time.
In fact, there is nothing that the club can do but play on the upcoming match, because “if we don’t take to the pitch, it would be massive blow,” according to Riccobene.The court could now appoint an adjudicator to oversee the club’s affairs, which could allow Parma to finish the current Serie A tournament, in which 11 games remain.