Parma has retained its Serie A status but will start the new season with a five-point deduction after striker Emanuele Calaio was caught for attempted match-fixing.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) investigated texts sent by Calaio – who used to play for Spezia – to former team mates Filippo De Col and Claudio Terzi ahead of the Serie B fixture between the sides at the end of last season.
Calaio sent four messages on WhatsApp to De Col, telling him not to try too hard. He is said to have repeated the same message to defender Terzi.
After a period of financial turbulence, culminating in bankruptcy and relegation to Serie D in 2015, Parma became the first Italian club to earn three successive promotions, in what was seen as a fairy-tale rise back to the top.
‘The court finds it proved that Calaio, in sending ex-team mate De Col the messages in question, put in place the attempt of a violation,’ read a statement by the FIGC.
‘Even the request and/or the invitation to not commit tackles on the person himself … can be believed to be evidence, at least in terms of attempt, of altering the outcome of the match.’
The FIGC prosecutor had requested Parma either be deducted six points from the upcoming season or two from the previous campaign.
That would have put it back to fourth place, below Palermo as well as Frosinone – which went on to win the playoff to also earn promotion.
He had also asked for Calaio to be banned for four years. However, the National Federal Court have instead given Calaio a £17,800 fine and two-year ban from the sport.
‘Parma note with great disappointment the verdict issued today by the National Federal Court,’ read a club statement.
‘We consider the condemnation of our employee Emanuele Calaio to be abnormal in respect to the facts that led to his referral and the inquiry, and the very heavy penalty inflicted on our club for objective responsibility illogical and in contrast with recent sporting judgements.
‘We trust that the complete lack of connection of Parma to any unlawful behaviour will be recognised by the Federal Court of Appeal, to which we will resort in a short matter of time, in the hope of finding justice.’