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Details Revealed on How Mike Piazza, Wife Bankrupted an Italian Soccer Club

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 09:  Former New York Mets catcher and Hall of Fame player Mike Piazza waves to fans by the dugout before an interleague MLB baseball game against the New York Yankees on June 9, 2018 at Citi Field in the Queens borough of New York City. Yankees won 4-3 . (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Mike Piazza had a Hall of Fame baseball career and is one of the best offensive catchers in MLB history. However, he was less successful as the owner of a soccer club. 

The Athletic's Robert Andrew Powell provided the details behind how A.C. Reggiana 1919, the Italian soccer club in which Piazza had a controlling stake, went bankrupt in July under the Hall of Famer's watch.

According to Powell, Reggiana's budget skyrocketed after Piazza took over, rising from around €500,000 ($568,458) before he purchased to club to more €6 million ($6.8 million) in his first season as the owner.

Piazza's wife Alicia told Powell seeing the finances laid out was a sobering moment.

"When the auditors told us that, it was deafening to our ears," she said. "I turned to Mike and said, 'What the f--k did you just do?!'"

Alicia Piazza took over as Reggiana's vice president and started slashing costs. In one instance, Reggiana lost out on a potential manager when Alicia propsed offering €15,000 less for him and his staff than they had previously agreed to. The manager left altogether when she improved the figure to €7,500 less than the original agreement.

The breaking point came when Reggiana failed to gain promotion to Serie B, the second division of Italian soccer. Reggiana played Siena in a two-match playoff to determine which club would rise out of Serie C. Siena advanced on aggregate after scoring a penalty in the 109th minute of the second leg.

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Following that match, the Piazzas put Reggiana up for sale. However, the club failed to meet the deadline necessary to gain entry into Serie C, so a group of businessmen started an entirely new club in Reggiana's place.

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