Play-off losers Bari have been relegated from Serie B... to Serie D
Bari were closing in on promotion to Serie A last season but were knocked out of the play-offs by Cittadella at the start of June.
Just over a month on, the Apulia club have declared bankruptcy after a proposed takeover by Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani and local entrepreneur Ferdinando Napoli failed to conclude before Monday's 6pm deadline.
Mayor Antonio Decaro has exercised the option to bring Bari back as a phoenix club in Serie D - Italy's fourth tier - and can choose a group of local investors to keep football alive in the town.
"This is a bad day, not only for football in Bari, but for the whole city," Decaro told gianlucadimarzio.com.
"It’s a day of defeat, which burns 1,000 times more than any defeat on the pitch. We tried everything possible; I perhaps even went beyond my remit as a mayor.
"I did it as a citizen and also as a fan. We have to keep working with all our strength because football in Bari cannot end on this July afternoon. The city doesn’t deserve it and the fans don’t deserve it."
Former Celtic midfielder Liam Henderson, who joined Bari for an undisclosed fee in January, looks certain to leave the club.