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Court opens Fiorentina bankruptcy file

HDN | 6/29/2001 12:00:00 AM |

Chairman Gori's popularity plummeted last season after parting company with Turkish coach Fatih Terim, now with AC Milan An Italian court has opened a bankruptcy file on Serie A club Fiorentina, Italian agencies reported. ANSA said the head of

  • Chairman Gori's popularity plummeted last season after parting company with Turkish coach Fatih Terim, now with AC Milan
  • An Italian court has opened a bankruptcy file on Serie A club Fiorentina, Italian agencies reported.

    ANSA said the head of Florence's bankruptcy tribunal had opened the file on the basis of a document outlining the group's finances, which had been handed to the court by Fiorentina's auditors.

    "I have ordered that the document be filed as a bankruptcy procedure," ANSA quoted Tribunal official Raffaele Damora as saying.

    Earlier, Fiorentina denied media reports it or its auditors had filed for bankruptcy saying it had only handed the court an outline of its finances.

    On Tuesday, following a Fiorentina board meeting, a board member said the club was 133 billion lire ($59.05 million) in debt.

    At the same time, the club said in a statement it would have to sell some of its players to balance the books.

    "On the current economic situation the board has decided not to launch a capital increase but to mandate and therefore proceed with the sale of the players who do not fit into the budget," it said.

    This will come as another blow to the fans who were devastated to see their idol Gabriel Batistuta join AS Roma last season.

    Goalkeeper Francesco Toldo, a key figure in Italy's journey to the Euro 2000 final, and Portuguese playmaker Rui Costa are the club's main assets. Toldo looks set for a move to Spanish giants Barcelona.

    However, Portugal striker Nuno Gomes, Czech defender Tomas Repka and Italy midfielder Angelo Di Livio are also highly-rated in the Serie A and would find willing takers.

    Fiorentina is owned by international film and media mogul Vittorio Cecchi Gori, 62, who produced the Oscar-winning Italian film "Life Is Beautiful."

    Volatile personality

    Gori, who has been club president since taking over from his late father Mario in 1993, has not had a good year.

    His estranged wife, Rita Ruzic-Cecchi Gori, is seeking half his estimated $2-billion fortune she says they built together.

    A volatile personality, he has often clashed with fans who accuse him of selling the club's best players and refusing to replace them with new talent.

    His popularity plummeted last season as Fiorentina finished ninth in Serie A after parting company with Turkish coach Fatih Terim, who walked out with all his staff after a public row in February.

    "If the problem is me then I leave and I leave it all, including the money in the hope that they spend it on some players," Terim said as a parting shot.

    Rome - Reuters

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