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Parma football club declared bankrupt

The Serie A Parma football club has been declared bankrupt, according to Italian media reports.

Parma football club declared bankrupt
Photo: Paolo Cocco/AFP

The judgement was announced by a Parma tribunal a few hours after a hearing that lasted just ten minutes, La Repubblica reported.

The bankruptcy was declared two days after the club's owner, Giampietro Manenti, was arrested for alleged money laundering.

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."

In the absence of Manenti, Riccobene and another official Enrico Siciliano represented the club at a scheduled hearing to
decide its future.

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 17th 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."

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FOOTBALL

Euro 2020: Concern about virus spread after Italy players’ ‘unauthorised’ victory parade through Rome

Italy’s national football team reportedly insisted on taking an open-top bus tour through Rome to show off their European Championship trophy to crowds of fans - despite city authorities forbidding it amid concern about the spread of coronavirus.

Euro 2020: Concern about virus spread after Italy players' ‘unauthorised’ victory parade through Rome
Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The team’s bus parade through the city on Monday night following their Euro 2020 triumph “was not authorised”, according to Matteo Piantedosi the head of Rome’s prefettura (the public safety authority).

Thousands of fans packed the streets of central Rome to see the team celebrate their cup win after beating England on penalties in the final.

READ ALSO: ‘Football came home’: Italy celebrates Euro 2020 victory over England

Piantedosi told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Wednesday: “We had denied permission to celebrate Italy’s victory in the European Championships on the open bus, but the pact was not respected.”

Piantedosi, who is Rome’s top public security official, said police had “no choice” but to let the parade go ahead after players Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci insisted on it.

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

A meeting had been held on Friday with the Italian football federation (FIGC) to discuss plans for the celebrations if Italy won, said Piantedosi.

“I had agreed the line with Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and Chief of Police Lamberto Giannini,” he said.

“It was clearly explained that [the parade] was not possible. We said we could not authorize it.”

Piantedosi said the Italian football federation (FIGC) initially agreed to hold a “controlled” ceremony in Rome’s central Piazza del Popolo instead of the parade.

After players insisted on the bus tour on Monday however, Piantedosi said, authorities reluctantly let them go ahead due to fears of sparking public disorder.

“At that point we had no choice but to acknowledge the situation and handle it in the best way we could,” he said.

READ ALSO: Covid cases on the rise in Europe once again as WHO warns of Euro 2020 risk

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

In a statement on Wednesday, the FIGC said it had acted responsibly but decided not to disappoint fans who had come to celebrate with the team.

Footage of large crowds thronging the bus carrying the ‘Azzurri’ and the European Championship trophy through the capital however fuelled concerns about new outbreaks of coronavirus, after Italy’s infection rate began to rise again last week.

The World Health Organization warned earlier this month that crowds and gatherings connected to football matches will fuel a new rise in cases across Europe this summer.

READ ALSO: Delta variant in Italy will be ‘prevalent within 10 days’: health official

Italy’s health minister Roberto Speranza also voiced concerns on Monday about the consequences of people gathering to watch sporting events.

He said the European football championship win was “a great joy after terrible months,” but “even in these moments of national pride we can’t forget that our ‘game’ to defeat Covid is not yet won.”

There are currently minimal health restrictions in place across Italy, however masks are supposed to be worn in crowded public places, including outdoors.

“Footage shows that police were virtually the only ones [in the crowd] wearing masks,” said Piantedosi.

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