Maurizio Zamparini and Palermo released a statement confirming the Paul Baccaglini takeover has been scrapped. “I didn’t sleep last night.”
The Sicilians had been effectively sold to American investors, headed by former satirical TV correspondent Baccaglini (pictured with Zamparini), in February, but yesterday’s deadline for the closing passed without the necessary funds.
“I didn’t sleep last night,” began the rambling Zamparini statement on the official Palermo website this morning.
“After everything that happened, I feel the need to say what I think as a man and as a businessman. It’s truly disconcerting how the media describe someone aged 76, who has for some time wanted, albeit with great regret, to leave football.
“This is a person who has not only left his money, but above all his heart for the Rosanero colours and is now depicted as a capricious child.
“The legal proposal from Paul Baccaglini and associates (Integras Capital) in my possession, which I am ready to show, contains a ridiculous offer as it (despite the initial economic evaluation is close to the real sum) is offering to pay a lower sum in four years, without expected future investment in Palermo, nor guarantees of solubility.
“In the agreement signed on 24/2/17, page one point three states: ‘Paul Baccaglini as founding associate and executive of Integras Capital Limited is interested in financing both the acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of Palermo Calcio and the construction of new sporting structures (stadium and training centre).’
“On page two point five it reads: ‘In the improbable event that Paul Baccaglini does not honour the payment of the funds agreed in point two by the date 30/4/17, Paul Baccaglini pledges to offer his resignation as President, unless there is a written agreement between the two parties.’
“OR RATHER: no written agreement of an extension was signed, nor did I put pressure on for this unexpected twist, though I waited with patience for the promised funds, which had disappeared without trace.
“It is clear that the club will be sold to someone who guarantees the continuation of the club at a certain level of importance. It is clear that I considered Paul Baccaglini and Integras credible based on the information found by my legal team. It is clear that up to today Baccaglini has made only promises.
“In the proposal made last night, on the other hand, I saw the total disgust for what was written on 24/2/2017 and, on a legal profile, there is no mention of financing necessary for the development of the club or the sporting structures.
“In the February agreement, it was talk of €150m, of which €40m to the club and €110m for the sporting structures. Despite what the media claims today, yesterday the agreement failed not because of the valuation of the club, but because there’s a complete lack of guarantees for the fans and the city.
“I appreciate the intervention of Mayor Orlando and invite him to act as guarantor to ensure a transparent operation for the city.
“Despite everything, despite a group of people calling for me to leave, I am forced through love and competence to continue the work necessary to get this club back into Serie A.
“I believe with satisfaction that I have found the right people to start again, as abandoning the club to its own devices would be a dereliction of duty to the city where I am proudly an honorary citizen.
“If I left the club in the hands of those without competence, it would be the Palermo’s ruin. I am sorry for that fringe of fans who protest and don’t know me at all as a person: I care for them too, as they too are fans, even if I detest violence both physical and verbal.
“I am always at their disposal should they want a fair exchange of ideas. Other representatives are approaching me, but the image of the protest is not understood and it pushes people away: Palermo is not a place of insults and swearing. Palermo is that fanbase I was so proud of, one of the most civilised and respectful in all of Italy.
“I apologise for this rant, but I thought clarity was needed. I am a transparent man and that can irritate some people.
“With affection. Thank you Palermo for existing. Thank you for having put up with me as President. I love you all. Maurizio Zamparini.”