Italian football club Parma has been declared bankrupt and will have to start as an amateur outfit in Serie D, the fourth tier of Italian football, next season.
It first filed for bankruptcy in March and a judge declared it should be sold, naming a price of €20m (£14.4m). There had been interest; Italian-American ex-baseball star Mike Piazza and Italian businessman Giuseppe Corrado were both in the race, according to Italian media.
Parma’s debt was just too big a mountain to clear, however, and both lost interest in a deal. The deadline for Parma to find a saviour expired at 12:00pm today London time.
The only way back for the club, which has long been a fixture in the upper echelons of Italian football, is to start again at the bottom of the pile, in the Italian fourth division. It can only do this if it finds investors before 10 July.
The height of Parma’s success came in the 1990s, when it won two Uefa Cups (in 1994-95 and 1998-99), one Coppa Italia (1991-92) and was runner-up in Serie A, the Italian league’s top division, in 1996-97. It has been home to a host of world-class players, including Gianluigi Bufon, Hernan Crespo, Lilian Thuram and Juan Sebastian Veron.