PARMA will start next season in Serie A but begin with a huge disadvantage after a match-fixing investigation.
Italy’s National Federal Court (TFN) has slapped a five-point deduction on the fallen giants – and banned star striker Emanuele Calaio for two years.
Calaio, 36, left Spezia for Parma in 2016 and controversially contacted former team-mates Filippo de Col and Claudio Terzi via WhatsApp before the key game.
He has also been fined £17,800 over the messages.
Calaio – who scored 13 league goals last season – was charged with match-fixing in July with the ace accused of “eliciting a reduced effort” from De Col and Terzi.
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Parma were relegated to Serie D after going bankrupt in 2015 but won three promotions in a row to take their place in the top flight.
The club have declared they will appeal the verdict – insisting the messages “don’t contain any sort of irregularity or malice”.
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Speaking last week, Calaio maintained he was completely innocent, explaining: “I’ve had a summer of Hell.
“I’m here in front of you for three stupid, harmless and joking messages that didn’t have any second purpose.
“I wasn’t thinking about making things easier for my team-mates or altering the result of the match.
“I don’t do those things, I’m a clean and correct person and I’m sorry Spezia and my former team-mates aren’t here to testify that I’ve always been an example for youngsters.
“I don’t want my career to end over something that has nothing to do with me.”