Sunday, 16 December 2007

Calciopoli: The Return

Come on, you must remember this? The scandal from the run up to the 2006 World Cup, you know, the one with Juve being relegated and charming Signor Moggi single-handedly supporting the Swiss mobile phone industry? Yes, yes, I know that out of sight means out of mind, and nowhere more so than here.Well, the trial has finally started. And in record time, too, a mere 18 months later (or 18 moths, as I initially typed, raising the possibility of some kind of sinister lepidopterists' cabal.)

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.


roswitha said...

Just how long and how much have those phones been tapped?

Thanks for the post, SP, 'tis a great, if depressing, reminder of the ever-present spectre. Is it true, though, that the della Valle family got embroiled in the net of Moggi's shady wheelings/dealings more as a matter of self-defense than anything? ie. Moggi threatened to wreak havoc on Fiorentina, these guys thought they needed to protect their club's interest, but instead of going to the cops about it they tried to play Moggi at his own game and therefore failed?

Because if its true, it's unforgivably stupid.

ursus arctos said...

Roswitha, the taps were in place for the better part of two years, and you are right in recounting the essential nature of the Della Valles' "defense" such as it was. It wasn't so much that Moggi was specifically targetting the Viola, as that they were convinced that they could only ensure the club's survival in Serie A by going along with the system.

Our former dear leader decided to weigh on the topic when bringing Milan's tin pot back from Tokyo. Silvio says that it was all a "frame up" by a "few powerful clubs" that "cost us several scudetti". Keep it classy, Cavaliere.

Spangles, does your aesthetic condemnation of Tod's extend to Hogan and Fay (the DV's other two major brands)?

ginkers said...

I dont think there has ever been a Serie A season that hasn't been clouded by some kind of scandal so I guess this is no surprise.

But as you say, the Italian judicial system does seem to work by boring everyone to tears until they forget what the charges were in the first place.

Spangly Princess said...

UA: Hogan's stuff is ok but not my taste; Fay is a bit meh but I might be already too old for it.

roswitha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
roswitha said...

I don't know how Berlu expects anyone to believe that Galliani wasn't in on it. And frankly, being unable to believe that Galliani was innocent of what was happening all along, I can't believe that he let it happen without allowing Milan to get a slice of the pie [2004-05? Or should we believe that that one was 'designated' to be Milan's until Pierluigi Collina ruined it all with his genuine mistake?]. Surely Berlu & G were two of the very few men in calcio with the power to upset Moggi completely. One could theorize about it until the cows come home, I suppose.

But given the intensely *banal* nature of the truth of Calciopoli I only find it hard to believe that no other football league does this.

TrentToffee said...

Drag it out long enough and history will show that there never was a problem. It was all a giant mis-understanding.

Lepidopterist. Great word.

Juventino said...

Bologna are a bunch of masochistic wankers who can go and get farked. They would prefer it if they've been farked over because then they can complain about being farked over, which is what they really want.

Calciopoli has been a godsend for many clubs, presidents, managers and players solely because now they can escape being responsible for their own shortcomings.

I'd still like someone to point out which season it was that the most deserving team didn't win the league.

chelsea boy said...

One of the seasons you rigged it?

Aussie Romanista said...

That's a load of wank.
All they've got is some suits talking on the phone, but they don't have anything concrete. Name ONE match that you know was rigged? Like Preziosi (president of Genoa) handing over a suitcase of cash to Venezia's president to.... rig a match. Oh that is forgotten. How convenient. Because the team's name isn't Juventus it hardly makes a wave, and Preziosi is still the president! Get rid of Moggi etc, fine I agree but to revoke those scudetti is pathetic tokenism. For Inter, who were inferior, to claim them is worse.
Suits influencing who refs a match, whatever else, is one thing but if Juve weren't the best team in those 2 (and other) seasons then chelseaboy is a closet Man utd fan who wears a pink scarf to Old Trafford. Did you even watch Serie A then or are you a typical product of anti-juve manipulation and sentiment by the media? They deserved their points and Inter, Milan and Roma certainly weren't good enough to finish above them. Rigged the season my ass!

chelsea boy said...

I was joking.

Paul de Man said...

Guys! Play nice! Allegations of foul play make the baby Jesus cry. He'd be a shit ref.

Juventino said...

Moratti wants more scudetti taked from Juve and given to Inter, in particular that of 2001/02. Inter finished THIRD behind Juve and Roma after capitulating on the last day away to Lazio. Inter were disadvantaged, he says.

Did Moggi make Inter sign Gresko?

Chelsea boy, that's a prime example of using Calciopoli to escape from responsibility.
If you don't recall what happened that day: