With Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Bari, Serie B leaders Parma officially sealed their promotion to Serie A with two games to go.

After 36 league matches, the Crociati have 74 points, good enough for first place in Italy’s second level. Assuming nothing else changes this weekend, a victory against Cremonese would mathematically cement their position as Serie B champions.

After failing to make the promotion playoffs last season, Fabio Pecchia’s squad has been able to recover and return to form. On aggregate, they lost to Claudio Ranieri’s Cagliari in the play-off semi-finals, 3-2.

This season, Parma has only suffered four league defeats, with a record of 21 victories and eleven draws. A single win in their last three games would have sent the Crocati back to the Italian first division. They have not played there since the 2020-21 season.

Having played two games less than their third-place rivals, Venezia, Parma now sits atop the league. With three points separating them from first place, second-place Como will likely also play in the top division.

With 24 goals between them in all competitions this season, Parma’s wingers Dennis Man and Adrian Benedyczak have been unstoppable. One has 13 goals, whereas the other has 11. Two crucial matches remain this season; on Sunday, they will face Cremonese, and on Friday, they will play away at Reggiana.

US owner aims to revive glorious past

Only Salernitana, the team now ranked worst in Serie A, has been officially demoted to Serie B. Meanwhile, Parma may be without an Italian league championship, but they have won the Italian Cup three times.

They took home the trophy in 1993 for Europe’s Cup Winners’ Cup and two UEFA Cups in 1995 and 1999. The club’s storied past was a factor in Kyle Krause, founder of the Krause Group, acquiring a 90% share in the team in September 2020.

In fact, the Gialloblu have a glittering past filled with championships and legendary players. Some notable players who donned the shirt include Gianluigi Buffon, Juan Sebastian Veron, Fabio Cannavaro, Lilian Thuram, Hernán Crespo, and Gianfranco Zola.

At 44 or 45 years old, Buffon was back in the lineup until last year. After the bankruptcy in 2015, a new project began to take form in 2020, and it served as a connection between the occasionally magnificent past and the project.

Despite being in the midst of his fifth decade, Buffon stayed there again from 2021 until last year. He bridged the gap between the illustrious past and the new endeavor that has been in the works since 2020, after the 2015 bankruptcy.

Why did Krause pick Parma?

“It all started with a bit of investigation into Italian soccer and evolved into this fantastic opportunity. Some of the research was initiated because of work I was doing related to Pro Iowa. I was exploring clubs and ownership structures, trying to better understand opportunities and the process. But networking in Italy for Pro Iowa knowledge led to me developing more intentional interest in purchasing a club in Italy.

“When I discovered Parma Calcio was for sale, I knew it was the right choice. The club has an incredible brand and history and celebrated its 110-year anniversary in December. Parma Calcio is the fourth most successful Italian team in UEFA competitions having won four national trophies and four international trophies. In addition, Parma is a beautiful city with rich history, cuisine, culture, and soccer.

“What’s not to love?”, admitted Kyle Krause in an interview on Wednesday.