The dawn of the new millennium brought an influx of money into the beautiful game, in gregarious amounts, unlike anything seen before. As a result, commercial one-upmanship became the central topic of discussion in boardrooms, as no one wished to be left behind in the financial rat race.
While some clubs benefitted directly due to foreign investments, others had to look for other sources of income to stay relevant. Clubs began spending enormous amounts of money to recruit the best talents in the hope that the players would bring more fans, which in turn meant more money, despite the expenditure outdoing the income by significant margins.
However, while this gamble turned out to be a major success for some clubs, others have not had the same degree of good fortune. In this type of a business model, it is pretty much a one-off shot at success, especially for clubs of smaller stature.
When the players they brought in to attract the crowds, at the risk of insolvency, failed to deliver the standards of football they were supposed to, these clubs faced dissolution and bankruptcy.
With numerous such cases, we take a look at the top 5 clubs who have now gone bankrupt:
The one-time Italian giants were the recent big name to topple into the crevasse of insolvency. The end of the 2014/15 season saw the Italian club dissolved, despite their rich history and legacy. Those players who chose to stay and fight for that legacy during that season were almost entirely unpaid, and some had to double up as drivers as the club could not afford a driver for the team coach.
Having been relegated from Serie A, they had such a serious debt burden that they were prevented from entering Serie B and now have to work themselves up from the basement, the Italian 4th tier.
Numerous stories have emerged with regard to the seriousness of the situation Parma had found themselves in. From having a match against Udinese postponed due to the club being unable to pay the stewards, to not being able to afford water bottles during training, a 197 million Euro debt crippled the club significantly.
A lot of credit must go to Roberto Donadoni and Hernan Crespo who despite not being paid, steadfastly stood by the club as manager and youth team coach, and tried till the end to save Parma from the drop.