Tommaso Ghirardi

Tommaso Ghirardi (born 10 May, 1975 in Brescia) is an Italian businessman, currently serving as president of Italian association football club Parma F.C. and sitting on the Serie A committee. His main activities are in the mechanics industry.[1]

His entry into football came with the purchase of A.C. Carpenedolo, a small club based near Brescia, when the club was in Serie D. The club turned professional and gained promotion to Serie C2 in 2004 and marginally missed on promotion to Serie C1 two years later after play-off defeat.

On 3 January 2007, Ghirardi bought financially troubled Parma F.C. in an auction for the sale of the club. He sacked Stefano Pioli after just two matches and replaced him with Claudio Ranieri, but the club continued to struggle. Relegation seemed inevitable, but final day victory secured Parma's place in Italy's top division for the following season. He responded by investing around €11M on new players. Despite this, Parma were relegated to Serie B after nineteen consecutive seasons in the top flight.

Life in Serie B started worryingly under Luigi Cagni, who was replaced by Francesco Guidolin and Parma would go on to secure promotion with two games of the season to go. The return to Serie A was the cue for the appointment of Pietro Leonardi as general manager and Andrea Berta (ex-colleague at Carpendolo) as sporting director. A creditable eighth-place finish and the return of Hernan Crespo saw Ghirardi held in high regard by the fans. A lack of progression since has seen his stock fall.

In the first five years of Ghirardi's presidency (from January 2007 to January 2012), it was estimated that his investment had reached €30m, alongside a further €13m in the club's parent company[2]


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