Monday November 6 2017
What happened to Modena?

Today the Lega Pro will officially throw Modena out of the league, and the club will be declared bankrupt.

The Canarini haven’t played their last four games, and their no-show against Santarcangelo yesterday will see them expelled from the division.

Bankruptcy will follow, ending 105 years of history, but how did the former Serie A side get into this situation?

Words: Gaby McKay

On September 22 2002, Modena beat a Roma side containing Cafu, Gabriel Batistuta and Francesco Totti 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.

Today, 15 years later, they will be expelled from the Lega Pro after failing to play any of their past four matches.

For most Modena fans, the blame for their fall lies squarely at the feet of former Queens Park Rangers owner Antonio Caliendo.

Under his stewardship, reports La Repubblica, the Canarini have amassed over €5m in debt.

Caliendo became the sole owner of the club in 2015, transferring 98.3 per cent of the shares to  World Promotion Company, a company registered in Luxembourg but controlled by Cmc Ltd, a company based in the British Virgin Islands.

Having sold a host of important players last season, including fans favourite Simone Gozzi, Modena were only registered with the Lega Pro on the final day.

The squad had been made up largely of loan players, necessitating a revolution in terms of the playing staff, a task not helped by the resignation of sporting director Luigi Pavarese in August.

More pressingly though, the club had failed to pay the city council for their lease on the Stadio Alberto Braglia, with Caliendo failing to make payments totally €390,000, rising to €625,000 with interest.

The city also accused the club of neglecting the stadium, and was forced to spend €150,000 on renovations.

As a result, Modena were locked out of the Braglia and forced to play their home matches in Forli.

However, that was soon stopped for public order reasons and Modena had nowhere to play against Mestre, Albinoleffe and Padova.

The Canarini were docked points for missing those games, and the players have not been paid all season.

As a result the first team is on strike, and refused to play Santarcangelo this weekend.

Last month Caliendo sold the club to former Varese owner Aldo Taddeo, but the salaries for the players have yet to arrive.

The plan had been to send the youth team to Santarcangelo, but the youths also refused to play and as a result Modena will be thrown out of the league for failing to fulfil four fixtures.

The club will then be declared bankrupt, with its assets sold to try and reclaim as much money as possible for creditors.

Around 50 people will lose their jobs, and the mayor of the city, Gian Carlo Muzzarelli, will have eight months to find new owners to lead a phoenix club, likely from Serie D, the top amateur league.

All of the players will be released when Modena’s bankruptcy is confirmed, but they must register to play in the amateur leagues within two months of the start of the 2018-19 season.

The youth team will continue to play until the end of the season, at which point that will be disbanded too, and any new team will have to start from scratch with a new name.

That will see 105 years of history come to an end, with fans holding a mock funeral in the streets yesterday.

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