Following weeks of speculation, Terry Antonis is finally free to join Parma FC. The 19-year old's A-League club, Sydney FC, finally broke down and accepted Parma's offer of three transfer payments rather than one lump sum, which was the sticking point in negotiations for more than a month. Antonis had already agreed to a four-year contract with Parma.
Sydney will receive $100,000 immediately and additional, identical payments in October and February as compensation for Antonis' move up to Serie A. Meanwhile, the Young Socceroos attacker can depart for Turkey next week for the U20 World Cup knowing what his immediate future holds.
Sky Blues CEO Tony Pignata told The World Game that Parma was unprofessional and that the club will file for sanctions through FIFA if the Italian club do not hold up their end of the transfer. Yet Pignata and Sydney finally assented due to respect for the future of the promising Antonis:
"We didn't want to let the situation affect the player any further. It's not what he needed going into the U20 World Cup and we wish him well. He's going into one of the major leagues in the world and it's a big opportunity for him. We all want to see him go on and become a regular for the Socceroos. He will be welcome back at the club any time."
Now that the transfer is complete, Antonis joins former Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory winger Marco Rojas in a top European league after Rojas moved to Stuttgart last month. Antonis will be with the U20s at least through the end of June, depending on how far Australia progress. Pre-season in Parma begins in July.