Gianluigi Buffon sympathy for cash-strapped Parma

AFP| Last Updated: Feb 25, 2015, 22:10 PM IST
Gianluigi Buffon sympathy for cash-strapped Parma

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has expressed his sympathy for cash-strapped former club Parma, who will face a bankruptcy hearing next month after failing to pay players` salaries all season.

Basement side Parma are so hard up they were unable to pay stadium stewards last week, leading to the postponement of their home league fixture against Udinese.

The club has already been docked a point by league officials for failing to pay salaries to players since July 2014 and a question mark still hangs over their trip to Genoa this weekend.

Buffon, who spent several years with Parma during their 1990s heyday when they won two UEFA Cups and finished second in Serie A, posted a message on his personal Facebook page which said: "I`m reading more and more surreal news every day about Parma.

"For what it counts, I`d like to express my full solidarity with everyone who works at the club."

Officials from Italy`s Serie A league and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) have pledged to help Parma get out of the mire, however the club could be declared bankrupt by a Parma tribunal when it convenes on March 19.

Meanwhile, fans -- and rival club Genoa -- have promised to help this weekend`s fixture go ahead.

A section of Parma`s supporters say they will pay for a bus to take the team to Genoa, while reports in Italy said Genoa FC will meet the team`s hotel costs.

Parma captain Antonio Lucarelli seemed to suggest this weekend`s fixture would go ahead, but he told ParmaToday.it the players -- who watched as bailiffs repossessed the club`s gym equipment last week -- now had no club facilities to wash their dirty strips.

"As of tomorrow the dirty linen gets washed at home, we don`t have a laundry any more," said Lucarelli.

"For Genoa, I don`t think we have a problem as regards the coach (bus) but we`ll see if the offer of the hotel comes through. But we`re getting organised."

Parma are said to be 100 million euros ($113 million) in debt and owe up to 17 million ($19.2 million) in unpaid taxes.

Former owner Tomasso Ghirardi sold Parma in December to an Albanian businessman although the deal lasted barely two months before it was sold on to Giampietro Manenti, who has been struggling to keep the club on its feet.

If Parma are declared bankrupt, all the previous results from games involving the team this season will stand and the teams who were due to meet Parma in upcoming games will be awarded 3-0 victories.