Parma have reacted with ‘surprise’ at failing to be awarded a UEFA License and promised to take their appeal to the High Court.
The Gialloblu achieved passage to the qualifying rounds of the Europa League at the weekend, with a dramatic final day series of results falling in their favour.
However, their participation in Europe has been thrown into doubt after it emerged that the club have been so far unsuccessful in applying for a UEFA License, a requisite all clubs must attain.
UEFA are seen as having taken issue with an unpaid income tax bill of €300,000, which the club have apparently claimed they do not see as having needed to be settled by March 31, when their UEFA License application had to be in by.
“Parma has learned with surprise the decision of the Appeals Committee to refuse to issue the UEFA license to our club,” the club have reacted in a statement released this week.
“Despite the great respect for the work of the Commission, Parma - still absolutely convinced of his own reasons - cannot accept this frustrating decision to deny a result that rewards an entire city and that has been achieved after years of effort and competitive spending.
“For these reasons, the Parma appeal without delay to the High Court of the National Olympic Committee in the certainty that, in the supreme seat of Sports Justice, will be recognized and fulfilled of their economic and financial policies under the procedure for the licensing of UEFA.”
Sporting director Pietro Leonardi explained the club’s version of events.
“I take the responsibility to clarify so that fans know exactly how things are. [Monday] morning I have been at the hearing for the Second Commission for UEFA Licensing at the FIGC, we were not present for the first hearing.
“I talked and explained myself and made myself available to them. But after two minutes I had already figured out that we would have to prepare for the third phase - the High Court - because the Second Commission would be copying and pasting from the First, without contradicting it.
“We would be wrong, according to these gentlemen, because we have registered 10 players with another club with incentives to sell.
“A tangible example, for the numbers - if a player earns €100,000 and the team that is lent him can only recognise €80,000, Parma will provide the remaining €20,000.
“June 30, 2014 was the date that these guys should be paid the outstanding economic difference, but for the sake of the kids themselves, we have generously provided periodic financial advances, which, according to them [FIGC], we must pay personal income tax on.
“While, also assured by our tax experts that this must be paid by June 30, 2014. The contradiction? If we had not paid, there would be no problems.
“We should not take part in the Europa League for a reason like that? It is absolutely contradictory, so I am calm and confident.
“It is common sense and we want this to be implemented. The players in question are not on our payroll, but that of another club. And we do not share [the FIGC’s] interpretation.
“Parma are confident of obtaining a UEFA Licence… We are explaining this very clearly because of the contradiction of the story.”