- Associated Press - Monday, June 22, 2015

Bankrupt club Parma will have to play under a new name in the fourth tier of Italian football after no buyer was found by Monday’s deadline, completing the fall of one of the country’s top teams in the 1990s.

Parma’s hopes of avoiding demotion to the amateur division were all but ended when former Major League Baseball player Mike Piazza pulled out of talks, shortly before the deadline for the club to be sold.

“In the coming hours, the administrators will meet with the creditor’s committee and judge Pietro Rogato to make the necessary arrangements for the bankruptcy proceedings,” Parma said in a statement.

In March, Parma was declared bankrupt with debts of more than 200 million euros ($220 million). The club was sold twice last season and had to be helped out financially by the league’s governing body and the Italian football federation in order to finish the campaign after two consecutive league matches were postponed.

Parma, which was deducted a total of nine points during last season for financial problems, was relegated after finishing last in Serie A. The club had hoped to be allowed to register for the second division.

Two parties were in talks to take over Parma but a group led by local businessman Giuseppe Corrado, who runs a national cinema chain, pulled out on Sunday before Piazza’s party withdrew its interest.

Parma will now have to start again in Serie D and under a new name.

It has been a sad turn of events for a club once known as the strongest of Italy’s provincial teams and where players like Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro and Lilian Thuram became famous.

Parma won three European trophies in the 1990s - two UEFA Cups and one Cup Winners’ Cup - and was the Serie A runner-up in 1997.

The club can take heart from Fiorentina and Napoli, who were demoted after being declared bankrupt but swiftly rose back to the top flight and also bought back their old names.

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