Parma president arrested

18 March 2015 12:01

Parma president Giampietro Manenti has been arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of embezzlement and money laundering, according to reports in the Italian media.

Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the Italian businessman was detained this morning in Parma alongside 21 individuals by officers of the Guardia di Finanza- the Italian police department which focuses on financial crime - for alleged illegal dealings.

The Italian police also raided the head offices of Parma as part of a nationwide investigation named "GFB-Oculus" carried out by Rome's prosecutors' office.

Manenti, whose Slovenian-based company Mapi Group become Parma's third owners this season when it purchased the Ducale outfit in February, has so far failed to provide the capital to keep the cash-strapped club afloat.

Parma face a bankruptcy hearing on Thursday.

The mayor of Parma, Federico Pizzarotti, who recently described Manenti as "not credible", took to Twitter after hearing the news of the arrest.

He tweeted: "I said it from the start: there is no space for dishonest people in Parma.

"No looter touches the Parmigiani (Parma locals), the city and our team."

Parma captain Alessandro Lucarelli also spoke shortly after reports of Manenti's arrest reached the team's training ground in Collecchio.

He told his club's official website: "I have heard the news but I have nothing to say until I understand what are the motivations behind it (arrest).

"We need to understand whether this has to do with Parma or not.

"It seems every day we, the team, the fans and our city, are hit by something new. I really hope that sooner or later this will end because I can honestly say we cannot take any more."

Parma's players and staff have not been paid since July and t he Gialloblu were forced to postpone two Serie A games last month due to a lack of finance.

"It has been difficult to play for some time," Lucarelli said. "It has been difficult to play for us since November because of a series of issues.

"You feel like shutting everything once and for all because this is becoming a farce.

"I say this with sadness. It's disgusting."

Parma, coached by Roberto Donadoni, lie at the foot of the Serie A standings, 16 points from safety, and host Torino on Sunday.

Source: PA