Parma president resigns and puts club up for sale

Club president Tommaso Ghirardi claims he is "done with football" after the team were denied the chance to compete in next season's Europa League over tax irregularities
Parma president Tommaso Ghirardi has resigned from his position and put the club up for sale as a result of the decision to prevent them from competing in next season's Europa League.

Roberto Donadoni's side enjoyed a remarkable campaign in the Serie A in 2013-14, securing a place in Europa after finishing sixth in the Italian top flight.

However, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) refused to grant them a licence to compete in the Europa League due to irregularities over tax payments, meaning seventh-placed Torino will take part in the competition in their stead.

And a furious Ghirardi claims he is "done with football" and will step aside from his Parma post with immediate affect over what he believes is an unfair decision, with the club twice being unsuccessful in attempts to appeal the decision.

"I wanted to convene this press conference to be a bit more clear on what has happened," he told repoters on Friday.

"The Uefa licence problem is due to the stadium and overdue debts with other clubs which we have honoured to the last penny.

"We have submitted all the necessary documents. On April 30 we were contacted by COVISOC at 13.30CET to say there was a small irregularity.

"I spoke to them personally, and they told me that the tax on nine incentives [in player contracts] had not been paid.

"We have so many players, young players, that sometimes you can't remember. But you have to pay the tax on that. I've been here for seven years and I have always done that.

"Nobody said anything to me until April 30, but I am convinced that we have paid – we have fulfilled our requirements.

"I won't name names, but I was advised on what to do by members of the Federation [FIGC]. This is the truth. No one can deny that. There are phone calls, messages, emails. I have spoken with the league and the Federation, who gave me directions on what to do.

"And that has led to the failure to give us a Uefa licence. My staff have done everything by the rules.

"Only a fool would think that this is an act of cunning to save €300,000, after spending €13m and now losing €8m. When I am calmer I will assess who will reimburse me for these damages.

"We are good people who run a house in good order. But they have managed to push me away from the game. I'm done with football.

"I'm done. I'm resigning as Parma president, and as of July 1 a new story will begin.

"Parma is now for sale."

Ghirardi bought cash-strapped Parma in Janaury 2007 and invested significant sums to help the club return to Serie A following their relegation a year later.