Serie C side AS Pro Piacenza lost 20-0 to Cuneo on Sunday after the club—currently experiencing extreme financial difficulties—fielded a team made up of eight players, seven of whom were teenagers.
Pro Piacenza have been flirting with bankruptcy for a number of months and just about met the minimum requirement of players after their squad went on strike for not being paid, per Joe Prince-Wright of NBC Sports. The team's captain had to take over as manager in their latest one-sided defeat:
The team has already been forced to forfeit three matches this season and will be axed from Italy's third division if they forfeit a fourth. They had lost the last five matches they had played 3-0.
One positive for Pro Piacenza is that they managed to concede only four second-half goals after going in 16-0 down at half-time. Hachim Kanis notched a double hat-trick with six goals for Cuneo on the day.
Football Italia reported the eighth player involved was the kit man, who had to come in to replace an injured player to prevent the club having to forfeit.
Pro Piacenza sit 15 points adrift of safety at the bottom of Serie C, although they have played at least four games fewer than any other team in the league (as many as seven fewer than some teams).
The club has won two of their last 16 matches and have now suffered six defeats in succession. Tom Clarke of The Times looked upon their case as a cause for comfort for other football fans:
Football Italia's report mentioned that the stand-off over unpaid wages has seen loan players return to their parent clubs.
The good news for Cuneo—who had scored only 18 goals in their previous 24 league matches this term—more than doubled their goal count in one game.
Journalist Ewan MacKenna wondered whether Pro Piacenza could offer him a convenient route into professional football:
Pro Piacenza have 11 games left to play this season but are almost certainly destined for relegation as their tailspin continues.