The Parma football team, playing in the Italian Premier League, was declared bankrupt by the local Court due to debts amounting to more than 200 million euros. The judicial administrators appointed by the Court said that they hope to avoid retiring the team from the championship.
Despite never winning the Premier League, Parma won various prestigious cups, and it nurtered the famous Italian player Fabio Cannavaro. In a country of deep football passion and deeply rooted local loyalties like Italy, the judgement was a shock.
And yet it could do some good, highlighting the bad financial health of Italian professional football. In Italy, teams are conceived by their owners exclusively as marketing tools and are routinely in the red. Stadiums, which are still owned by local Municipalities, are old and unfit to provide security services. The burden of checking hooligans is entirely on the shoulders of the State, which is failing at it.