Parma vow to fight Europe exclusion
Parma have vowed to exhaust all options available to them in a bid to play in Europe next season after being refused a UEFA licence.
Parma qualified for the Europa League on the final day of the Serie A season with a 2-0 win over Livorno, which lifted them above Torino and into the final qualifying position. However, they have been refused a licence by the Italian Football Association (FIGC) due to the late payment of taxes.
The FIGC have already rejected Parma's appeal against its initial refusal, and the Ducali are now taking the case to the Italian Olympic Committee's upper court of justice. Their case will be heard on May 28, and failure there would leave them only one more route -- turning to the extra-sporting justice system.
"Parma are confident about receiving a UEFA licence," the club's general manager Pietro Leonardi told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "If that doesn't happen, then the club's owners will even go beyond any decision of a sporting nature to defend the image of this club, our president and his family, but that's an eventuality we don't even wish to consider."
According to Leonardi, the FIGC's refusal comes down to a technicality in the payment of taxes related to wages of players who were on loan at other clubs. The due tax has been paid, although not according to the correct schedule.
"For the good of the lads themselves, and due to our generosity, we would send them advances from time to time and, according to the commission, we should have paid tax on these," Leonardi explained. "Our financial advisors told us over and over again that we could pay this by June 30, 2014. Paradoxically, had we not paid it at all, there would not have been any problems."
Torino will be anxiously awaiting the outcome of Parma's final appeal as they stand to gain a place in the third qualifying round for the Europa League should no licence be granted.