Parma back in Serie A after third straight promotion

Parma returned to Italy’s Serie A on Friday, securing a third successive promotion after being dumped into the fourth division following a series of financial crisis which led to bankruptcy. 

Parma sealed second place behind Empoli in Serie B after a 2-0 win at Spezia, while rivals Frosinone could only draw 2-2 against Foggia. 

During the 1990s, Parma were among the top sides in Italy and Europe, winning the Uefa Cup in 1995 and 1999 and Cup Winners Cup in 1993. 

However, success came at a cost with the club relegated to Serie D in 2015 after going bust before they clawed their way back up the divisions. 

With Empoli and Parma securing automatic promotion, a third place in Serie A will be decided by a series of play-offs between Frosinone, Palermo, Venizia, Bari, Citadella and Perugia.

The return was particularly emotional for Parma captain Alessandro Lucarelli, who stuck with the club through their journey down the divisions and deferred his retirement to complete the trip back up.

“I made a promise. I said I’d take Parma back to Serie A. I kept my promise,” the tearful 41-year-old defender told Sky Sport Italia.

“This is a journey we started three years ago in front of these amazing fans. We had difficult moments, we always got back on our feet. They never gave up and I am proud to have been their captain.

“Now I can stop. I don’t know, we’ll see. I just need to celebrate right now.”  – AFP, REUTERS

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