Parma fans protest, captain slams federation
23 February 2015, 11:25
Rome - About 1,000 Parma supporters protested in front of the team's stadium on Sunday where the Serie A match with Udinese was postponed because the cash-strapped club could not afford to pay stewards or police.
Meanwhile, team captain Alessandro Lucarelli slammed the Italian federation (FIGC) and the Serie A league for allowing the chaos to continue unchecked at the former UEFA Cup winners, where the players have not been paid all season.
Supporters posted signs which read "closed for robbery" on the stadium gates as they gathered just before the originally scheduled kickoff time of 1400 GMT for a peaceful protest.
Club president Giampietro Manenti had promised to pay outstanding wages by last Monday but the players say they still have not received anything, and the match was called off by the FIGC on Friday.
"It's an untenable situation, there's no credibility," Parma mayor Federico Pizzarotti told reporters. "Either they pay the wages or they allow somebody else to take over.
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Lucarelli told Gazzetta dello Sport: "He (Manenti) took over with good words and big promises," .
"He showed a bank statement where it was written that there were 100 million euros ($113.92 million) to invest in Parma. But every day, it's always the same talk... that there are technical problems and that we have to wait a little bit longer.
"As a matter of fact, we haven't seen a single euro."
He added: "Things have been strange for two years. The club always tended to pay our wages on the deadline day which made us suspicious.
"The league and the federation have a big responsibility. They only turned up on Friday to see what was going on. Where were they before that?"
"Why were there no controls? Why have they allowed the club to be sold twice, each time for one euro? Ridiculous. Here the institutions don't look after anyone," said Lucarelli.
"I get the impression they are just worried about the championship, they don't really care about Parma."
"We haven't asked for the club to be declared bankrupt because it would mean sending home 200 families who work for Parma," he added. "I'm not thinking about the players but about those people who take home 1,000 euros a month."
Parma are bottom of Serie A with 10 points from 23 games.