Parma’s promotion means a sixth American team will join Serie A

Serie A will become the home of another American owner next season after Kyle Krause’s Parma sealed promotion to the top flight.

Ange-Yoan Bonny’s curler in the 1-1 draw at Bari took the Crociatis return to the top with two games remaining and, three points ahead of second-placed Como, are favorites to win the Serie B title.

Parma’s statement on Thursday read: “We are in Serie A! With 21 wins and 11 draws, this team has shown great determination and strength to achieve a well-deserved promotion on the pitch, together with our great fans.”

Bonny, who turned 20 in October, played regularly for Parma and scored seven goals in all competitions, with the Frenchman sharing the bulk of the scoring responsibilities with Adrián Bernabé (9), Adrian Benedyczak (11) and Dennis Man (13).

“It’s a joy, we are all happy after such a long time,” Bonny told Sky Italia after the match. “It’s the happiest moment of my career,” Bernabé added moments later, as he greeted the Parma fans who had traveled 800 kilometers to the Stadio San Nicola.

After last season’s heartbreaking play-off exit against Cagliari, coach Fabio Pecchia suffered just four defeats in the 2023/24 season, with Parma topping the table since the early stages.

“It was a very complicated championship until the end,” said Pecchia. “Today I felt myself hugging every boy (player), especially those who have been here for a long time, for the work done and the victory for the club.”

It is the third successful promotional campaign for Pecchia, who sent Hellas Verona and Cremonese to Serie A in 2017 and 2022 respectively. The 50-year-old assured the Ducalis returned to the top level during his second year in charge.

Gianluigi Buffon, who played 265 games for Parma, went to X to congratulate his former teammates: “Finally Serie A! What a thrill to see the joy in the eyes of the people I shared the last years of my career with.”

In line with Pecchia’s arrival in 2022, Buffon returned to Parma as a role model to lead the new youth-driven reinvigorated following the club’s relegation from Serie A in 2021.

The transition period focused on the development of then-teenagers Bonny and defender Alessandro Circati, who has become Pecchia’s most preferred centre-back with 2,438 minutes of playing time this season.

“Gaining a coach’s trust is not easy,” Circati told me in September. “It all starts with training. Training leads to competitions. In games you have to show and prove that he can trust you every game.’

Circati also won the admiration and trust of Socceroo’s boss, Graham Arnold. Circati, born in Parma but raised in Perth, represented Italy at youth level before opting for Australia in 2022. The 20-year-old celebrated his birthday last October with a senior international debut at Brentford’s GTech Stadium against New Zealand. Competing in Serie A, the highest-ranked league in the UEFA season coefficient, is his next goal.

“It would be a dream to play in Serie A. It’s a great place to show what you are capable of,” Circati told Optus Sport’s Adriano Del Monte.

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According to Transfermarkt, Circati’s market value rose from League club Everton in January from $160,000 to $6.42 million since his Serie B debut, while Bernabé, Bonny, Benedyczak and Man have blown a combined $14.9 million in the past 12 months.

Serie A (America)

Krause becomes the sixth US-based owner of a Serie A club, joining Stephen Pagliuca (Atalanta), RedBird Capital Partners (Milan), Rocco Commisso (Fiorentina), 777 Partners (Genoa) and Dan Friedkin (Roma). The number could rise if Duncan Niederauer’s Venezia FC can achieve promotion by finishing in the top two spots in Serie B or via the Playoff route.

Parma’s emergence marks an impending change for Krause and sporting director Mauro Pederzoli in the next transfer window. It is inevitable that some players will stay and some will move on.

For now, there are two more chances in 2023-24 to impress the Sir. With the Serie B title on the line and with Como just three points behind, expect Pecchia to field a strong starting XI against Cremonese.

The afterparty on Sunday will be worth the wait Gli Emiliani of the players were honored in the Tardini and the fans took to the streets.

Parma is back.