Parma president Giampietro Manenti says debt payments on way
Parma's new president Giampietro Manenti said the first transfer of outstanding payments is on its way to players and staff of the Serie A club, whose coach Roberto Donadoni has called for the new owners to be given time to put things right.
Manenti bought Parma for one euro last Thursday from a Russian-Cypriot group who had acquired the club for the same sum less than two months before.
Staff and players have been waiting since July to be paid their salaries, though, and this has led to both Antonio Cassano and Felipe walking out. The club have also been docked one point with a further two-point penalty imminent.
The remaining squad players had warned the previous owners that they would take action if wages are not paid by the middle of the month and Manenti says he is "working around the clock" to ensure all the outstanding sums are transferred in time.
"As far as the first transfers are concerned, I gave all of the possible permissions yesterday and tomorrow at the latest, the first payments will be made," Manenti said at a news conference on Wednesday.
"We've already explained to the players the problems of having bought the club in such a difficult time with deadlines very close. We found them all very professional. It could affect them psychologically, but I think they understood that we're hard at work.
"We don't want to be docked any more points after the 16th considering Parma are at risk. All I can say to the fans is to have faith in me."
In light of what happened with the previous investors, that is a big ask. Coach Roberto Donadoni nevertheless hopes Manenti will be given the chance to prove he is authentic rather than being dismissed a priori.
"The new owners have said that they will do things and I'm shocked to see that people keep on speculating and nobody can keep their mouths shut for just three or four days," Donadoni said after his side's 1-0 defeat to Chievo on Wednesday. "If the promises are maintained, we will all be happy, and how many people will be forced to eat their words?
"If, on the other hand, the promises are not maintained, then that is the time when it would be right to make observations, but right now, it's just a free for all that only we Italians are capable of. All of those people who are attacking the new owners, where were they before? It's puerile."
Wednesday's defeat has left Parma rooted to the foot of the table, 12 points adrift of safety with only three wins from 22 matches. Donadoni has not given up hope of them staying up, though.
"My players showed once again tonight that they will give it all their energy and all their strength," Donadoni said. "Nobody wants to give up and the same goes for me, because I am still here. It would have been easy for me to just walk away and say 'deal with it.'
"It's not about money, it's about respect. That is worth more than money. We will try to move on with the strength we've got."