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 By Ben Gladwell

Inter Milan finances worse than Parma's - Giampietro Manenti

Giampietro Manenti was arrested in Italy on money laundering charges in March 2015.

Inter Milan's finances are in a worse state than when Parma went into bankruptcy, according to the latter club's former president Giampietro Manenti.

In his first interview since being arrested on the eve of Parma's official bankruptcy, Manenti accused the police and football authorities of joining forces to condemn the Emilia-Romagna club, saying he was powerless to prevent their situation.

In October, Serie A giants Inter posted losses of €74 million for the 2015 financial year, with the club's absence from Europe hitting their revenue hard.

"I read in the Gazzetta dello Sport that Inter have a debt of €417m, so why don't Inter fold like Parma did?" Manenti told La Repubblica.

"It was written that we had €200m of debts, but the actual maximum would have been around €60-80m.

"Do you know how many clubs are in similar situations in the league? Somebody wanted Parma to fold."

Manenti bought the 1995 and 1999 UEFA Cup winners in early February 2015 for just €1 from an Albanian and Russian conglomerate, which had purchased the club for the same fee from their former owner Tommaso Ghirardi.

Just over a month later, the club were declared bankrupt and Manenti was arrested for what he claimed were alleged irregularities over a credit card, which had a limit of €500 .

"It was a huge investigation, wasn't it?" he said. "Next time I'm given a credit card, I'd better ask twice where it comes from. They did their investigation in five days and arrested me on March 18, when March 19 was the day which was decisive for determining the destiny of Parma.

"Does that sound like a coincidence to you? Don't make fun of me, we're not children, we're grown up adults. All they needed to do was tell me before [that they wanted Parma to fold].

"I read all sorts of things -- that Manenti had arrived and devastated the city in just 20 days. [I read] that the mafia had arrived in Parma. They even sent a patrol car to Collechio [training ground] to stop my dad's car and say that it had been seized, when that was never the case.

"What I want to say is that if there was a problem, then you should talk about it to the person involved and you can resolve it. Instead, they needed to find something to say."

Following their bankruptcy, a newly formed Parma started out in the fifth division of Italian football. They have won 20 and drawn nine of their 29 games this season, with captain Alessandro Lucarelli sticking with the club, and are on course for promotion to the fourth division.

Manenti is working as an advisor for businesses throughout Europe, a job he held before getting involved with Parma.


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