*Total seven points deducted during season for financial irregularities
Coppa Italia: Quarter-finals / Team rating: 3 / Top scorer: Cassano (5)
It was a dramatic fall from grace for Parma, who went from European places to administration and relegation. Rossella Marrai looks at a traumatic year.
The chaos that surrounded the Tardini outfit this season was almost surreal at times. It was exactly a year ago the team was celebrating European qualification after a gap of eight years, but their dreams were dashed with a UEFA licence declined due to late payment of income tax on salaries.
That should’ve been a big warning flag for the Parmigiani, but they tried to continue on as normal. Only months later did people discover the truth.
Heading into Week 16, Parma had mustered just two wins, one draw and 13 defeats, but there was the clear sensation that something was weighing heavily on the players’ minds.
On December 18, 2014, Tommaso Ghirardi sold his controlling stake to Albanian businessman Rezart Taçi, after it was announced that the players had not been paid since July.
Despite the impressive 1-0 win over Fiorentina at the start of the New Year, further problems followed when Antonio Cassano terminated his contract by mutual consent over the lack of wages, while the likes of pivotal defender Gabriel Paletta formed part of an exodus of players that winter.
With Taçi unable to pay the players either, he sold the club two months later for a staggering figure of just €1 to Giampietro Manenti. Sadly, the situation didn’t change on or off the field and Parma remained bottom of Serie A.
It seemed like there was no way out for the 1992-93 UEFA Cup winners when Manenti was arrested in March 2015 on allegations of money laundering. Inevitably, on March 19 the club was declared bankrupt and could only complete the season thanks to a €5m loan from the Lega Serie A.
Ironically, the team fared considerably better under administration, as “at last we had some clear idea of what was happening and someone to talk to about it.” Parma’s squad earned praise from all quarters as they showed pride to take points off Juventus, Napoli, Inter and Roma.
Sadly, Parma’s campaign will not be remembered for what they did on the field, but rather for the chaos, sadness, seven-point penalty and poor management that was somehow allowed to happen. It’ll go down as their worst season to date, but hopefully the Gialloblu will be back in the top flight soon.
The former midfielder had a tough time getting a set of dejected and unpaid players excited to step out onto the field every week, but he did a remarkable job in a team stripped of confidence and desire. Far from the ideal scenario, Donadoni did his best to encourage his players and get results where they could – sadly it wasn’t enough.
While it may have been tricky to pick out the best player from a team stuck at the bottom of the table, Lucarelli gets the nod for his incredible professionalism throughout the testing campaign. Constantly encouraging his players on and off the field, Lucarelli pitched in with some great displays and acted as union leader negotiating for finances.
- Before this season the least number of wins in a season was seven back in 2007-08, but this year they have set a new record low of just six wins.
- Parma have set a new club record for the least amount of points in the Serie A season, by accumulating just 19 points (albeit with a seven-point penalty). The previous low was 34 in 2007-08.
- If it wasn’t for the seven point deduction, Parma would’ve finished in 19th place ahead of Cesena.
|28||D||Zouhair Agharbi Feddal||12(1)||-||-|
|29||D||Gabriel Paletta||6 (1)||-||-|
|11||D||Paolo De Ceglie||11||3||-|
|3||D||Andrea Rispoli||7 (7)||-||1|
|33||M||Lucas Souza||2 (1)||-||-|
|30||M||Afriyie Acquah||12 (2)||-||-|
|A||Soufiane Bidaoui||1 (3)||-||-|
|10||A||Nicola Pozzi||0 (3)||-||-|
|99||A||Antonio Cassano||18 (1)||5||2|