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Piacenza future bleak as club declare bankruptcy

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By Charles Ducksbury

Tuesday 27 March 2012

What do Calcio stars Pippo Inzaghi, Antonio Nocerino, Simone Pepe, Alberto Gilardino and Amauri all have in common? The answer is that they are all former Piacenza players. Yet Piacenza Calcio will be no more. After being declared bankrupt, the Biancorossi will end the season in uncertainty, with no-one too sure what will happen to this former Serie A club.

As early as the final stages of last season the end looked nigh. Lupi owner Fabrizio Garilli announced upon defeat to AlbinoLeffe in the Serie B play-out that he may not register the club in Lega Pro the following season. Fan power ensured that he did, but the president ended 28 years of family ownership by selling the club to Marco Gianfranceschi, someone who the Ultra didn’t take kindly to, believing him and Italiana SRL, the company he used to buy the club, to be ‘asset stripping’ and leaving the club for dead. Their evidence? Non-payment of wages and not paying taxes, leaving the club liable to points deductions and fines.

Perhaps if the season had started differently, the club situated close to the River Po could have been saved. Three defeats from their opening four games infuriated fans. Defeat against bitter rivals Cremonese at home (1-3) was the final straw for many, none more so that intimidating Ultra leader Davide Reboli, who made his first visit to the training ground of the season to question the coach and players. In a leaked video on youtube, Reboli is seen questioning the players commitment, shouting and swearing at them, stating: ‘You have to play well, you have to run. You lost the derby, the derby for us is our life! Are you capable or just good at losing or just good at jogging. We want to see results!’ It was not the last Piacenza saw of Reboli.

After the sale of the club, the Ultra’s again paid a visit to the training ground, yet this time it wasn’t the players who they wanted to question (despite a disastrous league campaign leaving the club battling a second successive relegation). Protesting about the new owners, the Ultra carried a banner reading: ‘Better to fail than have you in our way’. Reboli forcefully spoke to new Piacenza managing director Covilli Faggioli, saying ‘You’re liars, you’re criminals. We gave you a chance and you betrayed us. You’re here to take everything and leave us and the squad under-equipped.’

Faggioli insisted that the club had paid it’s taxes (it hadn’t) but that the players not being paid for three months was down to a ‘technical issue’ (it wasn’t.)

Sure enough it didn’t take long for the sage to unravel. In mid-march the club was declared bankrupt and will cease to exist as Piacenza Calcio at the seasons end. They will be allowed to finish the season, and then be sold in an auction at the end of the season. The club will have to change it’s name (similar to Fiorentina who became ‘Florentia Viola’ for a time, or Napoli, who became ‘Napoli Soccer’ for a season) and probably have to start in Serie D or lower. Should they stay up at someone’s expense (Piacenza currently lie in the last relegation play-out spot) then legal battles could ensue. Lega Pro is hardly known for it’s quickness when it comes to naming which sides will compete in it’s leagues, meaning the sage could drag on all summer.

Whatever happens, it’s a sad state of affairs for a club that was in Serie A as recently as 2002-03. Even in that relegation season, they hammered Milan 4-2 and the season before had the leagues top scorer, Calcio legend Dario Hubner with 24 goals as the Lupi finished 12th. Although it’s likely Piace will rise again, it’s by no means a certainty. Former Serie A sides such as Venezia, Messina and Perugia have all struggled in the lower leagues so investment is key. What has happened in the small Emilia-Romagna town has shaken Italian football, yet it is the consequence of not paying taxes or your players. Hopefully what has happened to the famous old club is an exception, rather than a rule.

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By Murugan on 08 November 2012 at 05:21

La nlloevue e9vange9lisation c'est comme une nlloevue effusion de l'Esprit: une Pentecf4te: il n'y en a pas qu'une, elle est la 1b0 ou la seconde ou la xb0ie8me: car nul n'est trop pre8s ni trop loin du Seigneur pour ne pas eatre destinataire d'une nlloevue e9vange9lisation. Si on e9vange9lise deux personnes dans une chambre d'hopital il peut y avoir la 1b0 et la xb0 e9vange9lisation en meame temps. En europe c'est souvent pas la 1b0 comme le remarque Paul. de plus l'e9vange9lisation c'est comme la pacification, c'est faire tache d'huile, e0 partir d'un noyau de vieux chre9tiens toujours en cure de rajeunissement avec l'Esprit-Saint et l'Eglise, et Marie.

By Aira on 06 November 2012 at 12:11

Jean-Baptiste :pourquoi donc l'e9vange9lisation nouvelle ne poiarrut pas consister e0 aller au bout du monde, Hic Sunt Leones = ici sont les lions ?Parce que les lions sont ici e0 la maison. Je ne dis pas qu'il n'y a plus d'appel missionnaire dans d'autres lieux, mais que ce n'est pas la vocation de la majorite9, qui a plutf4t comme vocation d'e9vange9liser ici et maintenant.Il ne s'agit pas uniquement, au niveau des personnes, de retrouver le sens de Dieu , mais de vivre une rencontre avec le Christ, nous sommes d'accord. Mais nous sommes des eatres incarne9s et inculture9s : si notre culture re9cuse la possibilite9 meame de l'incarnation et du salut, alors il est difficile pour les hommes qui vivent dedans de faire la rencontre du Christ.Je crois que la nouvelle e9vange9lisation passe, pour les chre9tiens fre9quentant de9je0 les e9glises, par une rede9couverte du scandale de la croix et de la folie de l'incarnation : nous, chre9tiens de l'inte9rieur (et notamment nous les mainstream pour reprendre l'expression de Koz), face e0 un monde qui re9cuse totalement ces re9alite9s, nous avons fait comme si elles allaient de soi, comme si elles e9taient tellement e9videntes Timothy Radcliffe, dans son dernier livre, insiste sur le fait que nous devons retrouver le cf4te9 dramatique (au sens anglais et frane7ais) de la messe. Je ne crois pas qu'il parle simplement du cf4te9 dramatic de la liturgie, car il pre9cise que dans l'eucharistie hebdomadaire se repre9sente e0 chaque fois un drame cosmique.






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