Tuesday February 24 2015
Lucarelli: 'Parma abandoned'

Alessandro Lucarelli said Parma “felt abandoned” by authorities during the financial crisis and the future is in doubt.

The situation seems to have plummeted beyond repair since Tommaso Ghirardi sold the club to Rezart Taci in December.

“We haven’t heard from or seen Ghirardi since he sold the club to Taci. The only wage we received this season was in July and that was net, so it didn’t include tax and pension contributions,” explained the captain.

“It is not easy, as since November – when the deadlines passed – we haven’t talked about football in the locker room.

“We tried not to let it leak out and focus on the game, with it’s inevitably going to stay in your mind and you waste energy all week wondering whether the club is going to collapse, if we’re getting paid and who is actually in charge.”

The players have not been paid since July 2014, but it seems as if the behind the scenes staff were paid up until November.

“Nobody is getting paid at Parma. The players can afford to wait a few months, but there are families living on €1,000 per month who haven’t received a cent. It’s dramatic for these people who need to feed themselves on these wages.”

Lucarelli warned in a previous interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport that Parma players were prepared to walk off after 10 minutes if they caught wind the FIGC just wanted to finish the season regularly and let the club fail over the summer.

“We felt abandoned, above all by the Federation and institutions, as nobody was interested in Parma until a few days ago. They only turned up when they realised we might not play on Sunday.

“Now we have to see whether they are interested in what is best for Parma or whether the Serie A season can end.

“The authorities should’ve checked more carefully, there were red flags, but they turned their backs and pretended not to notice. This is also their responsibility.”

Today the bailiffs were at the Collecchio training ground to seize more assets, namely a vehicle used by medical staff, medical and gym equipment worth €500,000.

Parma own 226 players, most of them on loan, and Lucarelli admits it was eyebrow-raising.

“We read in the papers that every day Parma would buy a new player, especially over the summer. It seemed strange and we couldn’t figure out what all these buys could possibly be used for.”

Sky Sport Italia analysts explain they were used for the so-called ‘plusvalenze’ – registering players worth a certain sum, often grossly inflated, to balance the books with ‘assets.’

This was a common practice in Italian football up until a few years ago, but authorities clamped down on these inflated accounts.

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