Friday July 19 2019
Zamparini banned for five years

Former Palermo owner Maurizio Zamparini has been given a five-year ban from football for his role in the club's demotion to the non-League.

Zamparini's punishment was confirmed by the FIGC's Federal National Court on Friday.

Palermo have been forced to restart in the non-League following their failure to register in time for upcoming Serie B campaign.

The 78-year-old was placed under house arrest in January for false accounting and money laundering.

It quickly emerged he had established a company called Mepal to own the Rosanero brand, which was then sold to Luxembourgish enterprise Alyssa for €1m in 2017.

Alyssa, it seems, was also owned by Zamparini, and the accusation was that he created a €1m boost to the club coffers by using his own money to artificially inflate the value of the ‘brand’ and bypass the Italian financial fair play rules.

Without that extra boost, Palermo would effectively have gone bankrupt two years ago.

The retail tycoon bought the Sicilian side in 2002 and, in 16 years as owner, led them into Serie A, European football and a Coppa Italia Final.

However, they became less successful during the latter part of his presidency.

The club are currently owned by Arkus Networks, who recently claimed they had been defrauded by fake brokers of a Bulgarian insurance company.

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