Bankrupt Parma were finally put out of their misery when a 4-0 loss at Lazio condemned them to Serie B after a season in which the players have not been paid any wages.
Parma had done their best to go down with dignity and a sudden upturn in form, including a shock 1-0 win over runaway leaders Juventus, suggested an unlikely escape act was possible.
We will digest a very difficult season in which many negative things have happened off the field
But those hopes were scuppered two weeks ago when they had four more points deducted for breaching Serie A financial regulations, on top of the three they had taken away earlier in the season.
This campaign has also seen former president Giampietro Manenti, arrested in a money-laundering probe last month the day before the club was declared bankrupt, and director Pietro Leonardi banned for six months each.
"We will digest a very difficult season in which many negative things have happened off the field," Parma coach Roberto Donadoni told reporters.
"Tonight, we were found wanting and we were a bit overwhelmed. We played below our possibilities."
Former Italy midfielder and coach Donadoni took over at Parma in January 2012 and pulled them clear of the relegation zone.
He built a competitive side and led them to an impressive sixth place in Serie A last season, only for them to miss out on the Europa League because of financial problems.
Wednesday's defeat left them bottom of the table with 11 points from 33 games, 16 adrift of safety with five matches left.