LIAM Henderson’s hopes of playing Serie A football next season were dashed on Sunday as Bari crashed out of the promotion play-offs at the first hurdle.

The former Celtic and Hibernian midfielder helped the Galletti to a sixth-placed finish in the league and a chance at returning to the top-flight, before problems off and on the field conspired to end their run. 

Bari were docked two points for financial irregularities after the conclusion of the regular season, meaning they dropped below Cittadella in the table and as a result lost home advantage for the play-off quarter-final.

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The knock-on effects of that penalty came back to haunt Fabio Grosso’s side, as they played out a 2-2 draw after extra time at the Stadio Pier Cesare Tombolato.

The result saw Cittadella progress, as the play-off rules state that if a tie is level after extra time the team with the superior league position will go through rather than have the game decided by a penalty shoot-out.

Henderson played a full 120 minutes for his side as goals from teammates Cristian Galano and Nene were cancelled out by a Paolo Bartolomei brace.

The situation worsened for Bari when defender Norbert Gyomber was sent off in extra time before Franco Brienza was shown a straight red card a few minutes later.

Henderson’s hopes of playing top-flight football in Italy may not be over, as recently-promoted Parma have been credited with an interest in the midfielder.

The Crociati, who secured their third consecutive promotion this season, are believed to be keen on bringing in the Scot to strengthen their squad ahead of the new Serie A season.

The 22-year-old became a regular for Bari after making the move from Celtic in January, scoring twice in 19 appearances under the tutelage of World Cup winner Grosso.