Parma, 9 June 2022 –Parma Calcio 1913 President Kyle Krause spoke about the future of the Women’s game at the club during a press conference held in the Press Room at the Ennio Tardini stadium.

“I have called you all here today to announce the latest news about the Club’s future regarding Women’s football. Yesterday, we acquired Empoli Ladies Football Club and today the FIGC has authorised the transfer of the Club to Parma and the change in name. There may be some complexities, after a successful season for Women’s team, but this move is very important for our long-term strategy. Here, today, are two of our new leaders in the Women’s setup who have joined us from Empoli, Sporting Director Domenico Aurelio and alongside him our new club manager Martina Capelli. Let me explain why we have bought a Serie A side when Parma Women already have a side and have just been promoted to Serie C. An opportunity arose to move the team up the ladder, and when an opportunity like that comes around, it must be grabbed with both hands… If we look around, we can see that the Women’s game is growing quickly, just look at Barcellona and the number of supporters who went to their last two games, we’re talking about 90,000 people. The real question is: why can’t we give women the same opportunities that the men receive and have the chance to earn and play at the highest level? And so with Domenico Aurelio and Martina Capelli, we are initially looking at what we need to stay in the division. In terms of budget, outgoing costs are not the only thing to consider, we also need to think about our income through sponsors and ticket sales. Authorisation of the sale came through less than half an hour ago so we don’t have any precise figures yet but it is going to be less than the Men’s budget. Obviously, we need to make a distinction: when we speak about equal opportunities we don’t mean that Women’s football is exactly like Men’s football. For us, growing Women’s football means offering girls, and us as well, this opportunity”.

Sporting Director Domenico Aurelio will be in charge of all the sporting and technical departments meaning he will be responsible for the whole system, from the youth teams to the Primavera and the team manager. On the corporate side of things, we will all be involved and share responsibility for that. I am not yet able to confirm if we are going to play our home games at the Stadio Tardini, instead of at Noceto, but it’s an issue that will be resolved at a later date”.

 “The Empoli players were on short-term contracts until the end of the season so none of them are under contract for this next season. Obviously, Domenico Aurelio knows those players well so it’s right to think that some of them may choose to come and play for Parma, but the reality is the world is our oyster and we are open to any and every opportunity. It would be fantastic in the future if we could bring in players who already have international experience, like from the next Euros or World Cup. But for now, we are looking far and wide. There’s a chance we may sign a couple of non-European players; I come from a country where there are many excellent players. However, the idea is to identify and go and get the best players under contract for our project, and in Italy there is quite a large pool already here...”

We want the girls who have just won the league to enjoy and celebrate their victory. Last night at Collecchio, there was a party where the players celebrated their success together. I had a great chat with Head Coach Ilenia Nicoli and congratulated her on the unbelievable season they had. There are several young players in that first team squad that we hope will be able to play in the Primavera or our other youth teams, whilst for other players we are working with them to see if they can be transferred to other teams. It’s very important for the President and for the Club that these girls are given the chance to make a positive move”.

If we are here today to provide you with this wonderful news, it is also due to the F.I.G.C., and in particular President Gabriele Gravina, who I would like to give my upmost thanks to for allowing us to make this change in such a short space of time. The Federation has played a very important role and we look forward to continuing our work with them in growing the Women’s game, not only at Parma but at a national level”.