The trial is being held in Naples and is expected to last –I dunno, about 8 years I expect. Links to some incredibly important figure will be found and will of course have to be hushed up, for the greater stability of the state. At the end nothing will be proven, everyone will be sent home, and the only losers will be 1) the taxpayer who has funded the whole sorry process and 2) Italian football whose reputation grows ever more tarnished.
Er, where was I? what do you mean, been in Italy too long? Sigh. It is all rather… tiresome. Today's Corriere dello Sport reports that they are now investigating the sistema-Moggi in 2006-7 too… that is last season… apparently intercepted phone calls from between March 2006 and February 2007 are now being scrutinised, and a second charge of "associazione per delinquere" (conspiracy, essentially) is in the air. Goody. The sanctimonious hypocrite has been keeping up his media profile and going on pilgrimages to Lourdes of late, but slimy fuckers don't change their spots. The president of Bologna is seriously unhappy – if it turns out that there was dodginess around Juve's season in Serie B, the rossoblu could have a claim that they lost out on promotion to Serie A as a result. The new matters under investigation also include the sale of Siena football club (long a Juve satellite).
So anyway, the trial. Investigating magistrates Filippo Beatrice and Giuseppe Narducci have begun the lengthy process of presenting their evidence to the judge Eduardo De Gregorio. The investigation focused on the 2004-5 championship, and claims that at least 20 matches may have been "altered" by behind the scenes shenanigans. Thirty-seven individuals are accused of "sporting fraud" while the more serious charge of "conspiracy to commit a crime" is also being made against twenty of them, the Corriere says. The magistrates have identified Luciano Moggi, Antonio Giraudo, Innocenzo Mazzini, Paolo Bergamo, Pierluigi Pairetto and Massimo De Santis as the prime movers, planners and organisers of the "conspiracy." The Della Valle brothers Andrea and Diego, who own and run Fiorentina (and the incomprehensibly successful since terminally ugly Tod's shoes), are further down the list of those under investigation.
Now, many of those on trial have already been punished or absolved (or both) by the sporting authorities under CONI. But of course there is no reason why the judicial verdict need correspond with the sporting one – and indeed the terms of the investigation are different. Meanwhile the proceedings begin by establishing who are the offended parties. The list is intriguing, since it may include not only CONI, FIGC and the League but also the ministries for the economy and for sport and, oddly, RAI. Various clubs may also count among the civil claimants including Atalanta, Bologna, Brescia, Cagliari, Chievo, Lecce, Livorno, Palermo, Parma, Roma, Sampdoria, Siena, Udinese and Salernitana.
Things will be long, slow, torturous and probably pointless, though there may be some fun revelations along the way. I shall keep you posted.