Servette Geneva filed
for bankruptcy on Thursday in a further blow to Swiss
domestic football during a season in which Neuchatel Xamax has
been kicked out of the league and Sion docked 36 points.
Servette's owner, Iranian businessman Majid Pishyar, said he
had taken the decision with a "broken heart" and would continue
to fight for the club.
The 17-times Swiss champions returned to the top flight of
Swiss football this season after being declared bankrupt in
2005, when they were demoted to the third tier.
"The last few weeks have been very difficult for all those
who love Servette," said Pishyar in a statement on the club's
"We have made every effort to ensure the future of the club.
But, I have had to take a very difficult decision and have
decided, with a broken heart, to file for bankruptcy. However,
we will continue to fight for Servette."
Pishyar complained of a lack of local support for the club.
"I have invited all the partners to take part in the success
of the club. To my great sadness, only a minority have joined
us. I thank them from the bottom of my heart."
The Swiss Football League (SFL) said no decision had been
made on Servette's future in the competition but that Saturday's
match against FC Thun would go ahead. The team are fourth in the
Neuchatel Xamax were expelled from the league in January
over what the SFL said were a number of irregularities including
the suspicion that Russian-born owner Bulat Chagaev had forged a
letter from a bank which he used as a financial guarantee.
Chagaev, who was subsequently arrested and who is currently
in custody on charges of financial mismanagement, took the club
over eight months earlier.
Sion were deducted 36 points for fielding players they club
had signed while subject to a transfer ban.
The club then took
their case to a civil court, defying FIFA and UEFA statutes, and
Switzerland was threatened with an international ban.
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