Cash-strapped Parma declared bankrupt - club

19 March 2015 04:01

Cash-strapped Serie A club Parma were declared bankrupt by a tribunal on Thursday.

Club official Osvaldo Riccobene told reporters following the tribunal: "The club's creditors called for bankruptcy, which was accepted by the prosecutor of the Republic.

"We did not oppose the decision."

In the absence of Parma chairman Giampietro Manenti, Riccobene and another official Enrico Siciliano represented the club at Thursday's scheduled hearing to decide its future.

Manenti and 21 other people were arrested Wednesday on money-laundering and other charges, police said.

Reports said the court could now appoint an adjudicator to oversee the club's affairs, which could allow Parma to finish the current Serie A season -- in which 11 games remain.

Riccobene, however, admitted the future "is now uncertain, the judge didn't give any other information away. I hope we'll have a decision as soon as possible."

The news on Parma's bankruptcy was largely expected amid what has been a spectacular fall from grace for the two-time UEFA Cup winners.

Current coach Roberto Donadoni steered Parma into this season's Europa League but they were replaced in the competition by Torino when Tommaso Ghirardi, the former club owner who sold Parma in December, failed to pay owed taxes in time.

The club were then docked a point by league officials in December in relation to unpaid salaries from July, August and September 2014.

Ghirardi sold the club days before Christmas but since then Parma has seen several owners. The latest, Manenti, was unable to represent the club at Thursday's hearing because he was behind bars on charges of money laundering and embezzlement.

In recent months there have been concerted efforts to help keep the club afloat financially.

Serie A officials had given Parma a November 17 deadline to make amends although the squad, as well as the club's employees, have not been paid since July 2014.

In early March the Italian professional football league (Lega) voted in favour of loaning Parma five million euros in a bid to help them see out the season, but Wednesday's arrest of Manenti appeared to scupper those hopes.

The tribunal decision could spell the end of Parma's season, although Riccobene is hoping the club can play at home against Torino on Sunday.

Riccobene added: "I think we should still be able to play on Sunday. But that is my assumption.

"If we don't take to the pitch, it would be a massive blow."

Source: AFP