Taking Stock: AC Milan great tackles Parma insolvency

TS HAS ALWAYS KNOWN football finance doesn’t work like other business.

It is, after all, a passion, and as such has its own vagaries that hoodwink even the most experienced and sound business people, oligarchs and sheikhs.

The plights of Leeds United, Portsmouth FC, Rangers and Coventry City -among a gazillion other clubs – can attest to that.

But outside of these shores, things can get even weirder.

Take Italy, for example, where TS has heard this week that former AC Milan and Italian national team star Demetrio Albertini (pictured) has been appointed to oversee the insolvency process currently underway at stricken Serie A club Parma.

Albertini, now head of the Italian FA, played more than 300 times for Milan between 1988 and 2002, racked up 79 caps for the Azzurri and was famed for his sound defensive play and tough tackling.

He will now work alongside local accountants Alberto Guoiotto and Angelo Anedda to bite the ankles of the club’s finances.

The work will be no mean feat given the club’s €218m (£158m) debt, while owner and president Giampietro Manenti was arrested in March on charges of money laundering and embezzlement.

A hearing on 19 March lasted just ten minutes before judge Pietro Rogato declared the 101-year old club insolvent.

Parma’s players and staff have not been paid since July last year and the club’s lack of finance led to two of their Serie A games being postponed in February.

Although the side finished sixth last season, the club is languishing at the bottom of the league, having won just once this year. A far cry from its glory days in the 90s, when it boasted many of the world’s best players including Gianfranco Zola and, later, former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro.

TS hopes for Parma’s sake Albertini’s understanding of insolvency and accounting standards match his ability to time a tackle.

Picture credit: Wikipedia

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