This is the story of how Parma rose through the Italian divisions to become Champions in Europe, before a spectacular crash saw them bankrupt and relegated to the amateur leagues.
“Rarely has the Decline and Fall of Italian football become more tangible than with the current crisis of Parma,” wrote World Soccer’s Paddy Agnew, just over six months ago.
More recently, the club suffered the ignominy of demotion to the semi-professional ranks after being declared bankrupt with debts of approximately 220 million euros.
That could have been that for a team that graced Serie A and European football throughout the 1990s and 2000s. But, as this film by Copa90 reveals, the club refused to lie down and die. After a row between two rival entities over which owned the right to inherit the mantle of the defunct Parma, a new new club – Parma Calcio 1913 – backed by pasta maker Guido Barilla and other business executives, was approved to compete in the lowly ranks of Serie D.
Copa90 have produced a wonderfully poignant documentary. It tells the story of Parma’s decline, but also of their rebirth and in particular the role played by veteran defender, Alessandro Lucarelli, who showed remarkable loyalty to stick with the club through thick and thin.