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By ESPN Staff

Ex-Parma players could be investigated

Several former Parma players could be questioned as part of an investigation into fraudulent activity during the bankruptcy of Italian food giant Parmalat, then the club's biggest backer, in 2003.

Hernan Crespo is considering offers from outside Europe
Hernan Crespo is one of the former Parma players who could be questioned.

Parmalat's demise was brought about by fraud and false accounting, and it has been alleged that some leading Parma players of the time filed invoices for non-existent publicity appearances.

Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that investigators would like to talk to former players including Juan Sebastian Veron, Faustino Asprilla, Enrico Chiesa, Lilian Thuram, Dino Baggio, Hernan Crespo, Hristo Stoichkov and Tomas Brolin as part of their probe into the case.

They are part of a group of 26 individuals accused of extorting around 10 million euros from Parmalat during the company's decline.

Parma were heavily funded by the food giant during the 1990s -- the most successful era in their history, during which they won the European Cup Winners' Cup, the UEFA Supercup and the UEFA Cup and finished second in Serie A in 1997.

In 2004, as a result of the Parmalat scandal, Parma were declared insolvent, re-forming without the big names and the spending power and suffering their first relegation to Serie B in 18 years in 2008.

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