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Words in the News
Friday 09 January 2004
Parma football club's problems
As an investigation into the bankrupt Italian food giant Parmalat continues, the future of the football club Parma, which is controlled by the company, is coming under scrutiny.
This report from Harry Peart:
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Parma football club has risen to international status since it was taken over by the Tanzi family, which runs Parmalat, in 1991. The town has a population of only 170,000, but the millions of dollars that the Parmalat empire has injected into the club ensured the team has a high class football pedigree.

Two years after being taken over, Parma won the European Cup Winners Cup and a year later was the runner up. It won the UEFA Cup in 1995 and 1999. But even against the Italian background of high debt, Parma is in a perilous position. It's reported to have lost almost 100 million dollars last year, and owes Parmalat a large proportion of the debt.

But Enrico Bondi, the rescue manager brought in to salvage Parmalat thinks Parma will survive. He says there is an Italian way of doing things which is different from other countries, and that Parma will not be allowed to go into bankruptcy. He points to the fact that the club has top quality players to sell, including five members of the Italian national under 21 team. In spite of the serious financial problems at Parmalat, the football club still has reasons for cautious optimism.

Harry Peart, BBC
Listen Listen to the words
risen to international status
progressed to competing in international competitions
here, invested in
a high class football pedigree
its players are well known and have a good reputation
against the Italian background of high debt
allowing for the fact that many Italian firms have a high ratio of debt to equity
in a perilous position
has serious financial problems affecting its future solvency
rescue manager
a financial and business expert brought in to save companies which may be going bankrupt
here, save from bankruptcy
an Italian way of doing things
Italian financial procedures may differ from those in other countries
to go into bankruptcy
if a company goes into bankruptcy it formally says it does not have enough money to pay its debts
reasons for cautious optimism
some small reasons to hope for a better future
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