Former Italian champions Napoli have been expelled from Serie B because of their financial problems and will find out next month if they can continue in any capacity, football authorities said.

The club, who finished mid-table last season, were declared bankrupt by a Naples court earlier this month and efforts to find a buyer for the franchise licence have failed.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) refused Napoli a licence last month to play in next season’s Serie B.

Ancona, who were relegated from Serie A last season, have also excluded from Serie B after they were declared bankrupt.

Bari and Pescara, who were both relegated from Serie B last season, will now remain the division.

Napoli were Italian champions in 1987 and 1990, but they have struggled in recent seasons in Serie B.

Bankruptcy does not necessarilly spell the end of professional football in Naples, as a new regulation allows a city whose team has collapsed to retain a ‘franchise’ under a new company.

Four companies will compete the licence, but the successful candidate will now own a club playing in the third division, Serie C1.