Parma, 29 April 2021 – Jaap Kalma, Parma Calcio’s new Managing Director Corporate, had the following to say as he was officially presented at the Stadio Tardini today:

“There’s a huge opportunity in this city. Parma is a fantastic place, and the fans have a close and constructive bond with the Club, one which remains positive even in difficult times. This is a historic Club: we’re the fourth most successful team in Italy when it comes to international trophies. There are all the makings here to enjoy lasting success. The President is a truly exceptional person, I’ve heard many local Parma citizens say that we’re fortunate to have such a person as President, and this is one of the reasons why I’ve joined this project. Krause is a brilliant entrepreneur and has strong values that will lead to success. Furthermore, he’s a true Parma citizen, he’s interested in doing good for the Club and the city, and this should serve as an example to many. I’m very happy to be here as we look to achieve success in the coming years.

“Should we be relegated, the famous parachute payments do exist. Therefore, there would be levers to use in the short term. I’ve been here for 29 days and am laying the building blocks for the future. In the short term, there aren’t too many possibilities in terms of growth. We always try to involve fans and optimise everything we can, but there’s not a lot of room to manoeuvre right now: we can’t simply overhaul our hospitality offer or rebuild the stadium just like that, nor can we completely change the structure of our offerings since we already have commercial contracts with sponsors. We’ve worked really hard at this early stage, I’m getting to know everyone at the Club and am looking at plenty of open files. The stadium is a project we’re working on, it’s a dream for those in the football world because there’s the opportunity to create a certain experience for fans, partners and everyone else too. It’s a project that is moving forward quickly, but it’s not the only one on the table. We need to make a few decisions with next year in mind.

“On a professional level, I developed in the world of marketing. When I worked at Ferrari, I discovered the world of sport from a business perspective. For those who see the world through the eyes of marketing, sport is unique: you can build on the interest and involvement of the public. Partnerships and values can form the basis for everything, and this is something that has always really inspired me. Football is a world where I believe I can add value. This motivates me: I want to be part of something that we’ve built. It’s true that there are problems due to Covid, but I see great opportunities to make the sport more sustainable.

“How long does it take to implement all the projects? In reality, it never ends. The business side of sport is closely linked to results, it’s about getting everything on the right track. There’s a path to follow to make the Club grow, also on an international level. It takes time, things can move faster or slower depending on the results that are achieved on the pitch.

“One of our objectives concerns the brand. There’s archaeological work that needs to be done: you do a bit of digging and understand the history and values involved. It’s all about understanding the significance of the brand and combining this with the President’s values to create something authentic and aspirational. In the end, the brand has to be something for all of us. Another goal we want to achieve has to do with the stadium. We’ve received lots of support and there’s lots of positivity surrounding this. It’s a project that can be implemented in Parma, as opposed to other places. There’s lots to do, and it’ll take years to complete. A third objective is to create an excellent organisation, this underpins all success stories in sport.

“From a business perspective, I really do see opportunities here, this is a well-structured Club. There is, however, room to improve. In recent years, Parma have gone from Serie D to Serie A, there is plenty to build on. We’ll do everything to create the conditions for success over the long term. In sports, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. We’ll put in the hard work to make sure that we win a lot.”