Tuesday March 31 2015
‘Ghirardi lied to me’

Tommaso Ghirardi misled FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio over the financial situation at Parma, the latter has revealed.

The Ducali were declared bankrupt earlier this month, with debts of over €200m, including €75m in sporting debt.

Former President Ghirardi has repeatedly denied that he ran the club improperly, but the head of the Italian FA has a different take.

“In late November, with [Rezart] Taci already owning half, I called Ghirardi,” Tavecchio recalled in an interview with Tuttosport.

“I told him that this could create problems. The debts owed by Parma which he quoted to me were around half of the figure that eventually emerged.

“Then I told him to reach a settlement out of court to at least remain in [Serie] B [next season].

“When it turned out that he was also already committed to mutual aid payments I realised there was nothing left to be done.

“The people in [financial regulator] COVISOC look at accounts according to certain benchmarks. In effect, those were met.

“From September the decline began, and the timing of the checks led us to November.

“We were trying to ascertain who was doing wrong in football, but Parma had raised their credit limit with the Guardia di Finanza, the city council had gone five years without collecting rent, the bank granted extra credit lines and the players weren’t paid in the usual way.

“In short, what was wrong was known by many. I have defended the Federation, even though I wasn’t President at the time they were granted access [to Serie A].”

The Emilian side must pay all sporting debt by the end of June if they are to be granted entry to Serie B after their inevitable relegation, and Tavecchio admits that could be unlikely.

“There are situations which affect their ability to start in Serie B. They must pay their €75m sporting debt.

“Even if it were to be reduced to 30 per cent as we did with Siena, that still be about €25m.

“Is any entrepreneur willing to take that on? If not, they’ll start again from Serie D.”

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