Thursday, 25 January 2007

Parma takeover confirmed

A consortium led by businessman Tommaso Ghirardi has completed its takeover of Parma Football Club.

The 31-year-old has been confirmed as the side’s new President after he paid a reported £21m at auction for the Serie A side.

“I’m very emotional,” stated Ghirardi. “But I want to underline that we have come here for sporting reasons and to do good. We have everything in place at Parma to participate in clean football. We can make financial plans for the future with serenity in order to realise a sporting project. I want to bring the positive aspects of lower Division football to Serie A.”

Ghirardi, who says he was convinced to buy the outfit by Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli, also owns Fourth Division side Carpenedolo.

Details of the deal were not immediately disclosed by the club's former owners, Parmalat, but the deal brings to an end a period of temporary administration since the dairy giants went into bankruptcy in December 2003.

The sale was announced this evening by former administrator Enrico Bondi who declared: “Parma FC are now in the hands of the Three Musketeers.”

Ghirardi has been installed as the new chief, while he will be aided by former rally driver Angelo Medeghini [Vice-President] and Alberto Guareschi [Honorary President] – President of the Banca del Monte.

Ghirardi has already met coach Stefano Pioli and the players, as well as sporting director Stefano Zamagna.

Parma, who currently sit third-from-bottom in the Italian top flight after just three wins from 20 league outings, have been the subject of several failed takeover bids in the past, including one by former Real Madrid chairman Lorenzo Sanz in 2006.

Parma face Milan at the San Siro this weekend.

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