I spoke to a serial divorcee some years ago and he suggested that after one bad marriage, you’re more likely to plunge headfirst into another, then another, than your average person, despite all the warning signs.
He was driven by a need to put things right in his life. Regretful of lost time, he wanted to get on with finding a secure, lasting, future relationship.
Parma were a tiny club for most of their existence, occupying the fourth tier of Italian football, but they rose inextricably to become one of the top clubs in Europe. When Rangers knocked them out of the Champions League qualifiers in the 90s, they were sixth top seed in the Uefa rankings. When the money dried up and insolvency grabbed them a few years ago it must have been hard to accept their place – a club with little substance going for it, but with fans expecting glory.
News this week that after liquidation a newco Parma would kick off at the bottom tier of the professional game in Italy is a morality tale. Just as my pal, the divorcee, was compelled to plunge into a ‘lasting and successful’ relationship at the first opportunity, few people who pick up the pieces of insolvent football clubs seem to be blessed with pragmatic expectations. A second, even more damaging liquidation, haunts in the shadows.