Serie A club too broke to pay stadium stewards

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Parma sit bottom of the Italian top flight but almost certain demotion to Serie B looks to be the least of their worries. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
08:44 CET+01:00
Parma captain Alessandro Lucarelli hit out at league and federation officials on Sunday as the beleaguered Serie A club's game with Udinese was postponed due to a lack of funds to pay stadium stewards.

Parma sit bottom of the Italian top flight but almost certain demotion to Serie B looks to be the least of their worries.

After months of players going without wages and seeing the club change hands twice, there is now talk of bankruptcy-threatened Parma being unable to see out the remainder of the league season.

The Italian Football Players Association (Assocalciatori) and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) are involved in holding talks with Parma in a bid to save the club, while a social media campaign by players, ex-players and fans has been launched on Twitter with the #SaveParma hashtag.

Lucarelli claimed in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport on Sunday the problems started "two years ago" when the club - then under the ownership of Tommaso Ghirardi - began paying players' wages on deadline day. "That's when we got suspicious," he said.   

But he also hit out at league and federation officials for "allowing" Parma to get in such dire straits. "Most of the fault lies with Ghirardi, but the (Serie A) League and the football federation (FIGC) should not have allowed this to happen. Now, all they're trying to do is salvage the league championship," he added.

Ghirardi sold Parma prior to Christmas to an Albanian businessman although the deal lasted barely two months before it was sold on to Giampietro Manenti.

Manenti has been struggling to keep the club on its feet in recent weeks and the FIGC and Serie A league officials, according to reports, are in talks to loan the club €5 million so they can see out the remainder of the season.    

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Lucarelli added that Manenti "came to us with big promises, but so far we haven't seen a euro". The plan would see Parma go into 'controlled administration' and allow them to start afresh from Serie B.

If Parma are unable to finish the current campaign, league bosses are expected to rule that all previous results would stand and that any future fixtures would automatically end 3-0 to their opponents.

Lucarelli said the players had stopped short of taking the club to court over unpaid wages because the measure could ultimately hit the "200 families who work for Parma".

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