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Parma boss vows to save club

24 February 2015, 15:20

Parma - Parma President Giampietro Manenti has vowed to do his utmost to stop the Serie A club from going bust with its financial situation growing worse daily.

The players have not been paid all season and last Sunday's league match against Udinese was postponed with the club unable to pay for security and electricity.

A bankruptcy hearing has been set for March 19 but Manenti, who will meet with the city's mayor on Tuesday to see what can be done to save the club, hopes to resolve matters before that date.

"I'm not giving up on Parma," he said. "Quite the opposite. At the moment I'm working precisely for the future of the club.

"I won't be taking the books to court. We're working exactly on the opposite of that. We're preparing a plan to present to the district attorney."

Parma was recently sold for the second time this season, with Manenti taking over as new owner and president from the Russian-Cypriot conglomerate which had taken control in December.

"We are trying to understand what instruments we can use, timeframes and particular problems of a Serie A club," Parma Mayor Federico Pizzarotti said. "Seeing as there are no precedents we are trying to analyze what are the possible ways out of this.

"We have to follow the situation day by day. The most important meeting will be tomorrow with Manenti, who we will ask to give us assurances. The ball's in his court. He has to find the financial solutions or turn to the courts to sort out the club's future."

The club is bottom of Serie A and was deducted one point earlier this season for failing to pay players' wages. With salaries still unpaid, another heftier penalty is likely soon.

Gym equipment costing around $567 325 was seized from the club center in Collecchio on Monday, following on from last week's repossession of the club's vehicles.

Confusion continues to reign. Parma said on Friday that the only way the Udinese match could be played was without fans. However, Manenti was adamant the club informed authorities it would be possible for the match to go ahead as normal - prompting a denial by city officials later on Monday night.

Parma next visits Genoa, and captain Alessandro Lucarelli said the players will pay for their own transport if the club cannot afford a bus.

"The situation could have been avoided with a bit more care," he said. "Now the league and the federation are involved but it's too late. We're ready to play but we want to feel protected, we want there to be respect for Parma and not just so the championship is kept in order.

"We are prepared to pay for the trip ourselves so we can play at Genoa. If there isn't a bus to take us there, we'll organize it with five or six cars. It's like being in a film. We've seen everything you could possibly imagine."

Italian media reports that the football federation and the Lega Serie A could lend Parma $5.7 million to see out the season. If the club goes into controlled administration it would then be possible for Parma to take its place in Serie B next term - with relegation already a foregone conclusion.

Should Parma be unable to finish the season, all previous results will stand and future fixtures will automatically end 3-0 to its opponents. If Parma is liquidated, a whole new club would have to begin from the amateur league.

"If we have a chance to not let the club go bankrupt, we have to go with it in any way possible, with or without Manenti," Lucarelli added. "At the moment we have little confidence in him, he's all talk.

"It would be useless for the Lega and the FIGC to support us until the end of the campaign and then let us go under in June. We want a helping hand, we are part of the Lega too. I hope the other clubs have Parma's destiny in their hearts."

Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero has said the other Serie A clubs should get together to help Parma and its "heroes."

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- AP


Mikel: I respect Conte's decisions

26 October 2016, 20:51

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