Sunday, July 16, 2006

When in Rome

The biggest football scandal ever? Perhaps. It is certainly up there with Shane Warne being an expert pundit on ITV's coverage of the World Cup.
The corruption bubble in Italy has burst and has covered Lazio, Fiorentina, Juventus and AC Milan in...well, finish the sentence yourself. A tribunal in Rome announced its conclusions after having investigated charges that the clubs, their management, football officials and referees tried to influence the outcome of matches by interfering with the appointment of officials. This practice is commonly known as cheating.
Lazio, Fiorentina and Juventus have all been relegated to Serie B with points deductions of 7, 12 and a whopping 30 respectively. The Old Lady of Turin has been punched in the face. AC Milan have been reprieved of relegation, but still given a 15 point penalty for next season. To compound things, Juve have been stripped of their last two Scudetta titles.
Expect a massive exodus of top line players from the demoted clubs. I imagine most will settle in Spain, but owuld anticipate quite a few coming to England. Some will stay, I believe Del Piero has already stated his desire to stay at Juve. Remember Angelo Di Livio, the combative Little Soldier who stayed with Fiorentina (them again!) after they were demoted to Serie C-2 for financial irregularities? However, the vast majority will leave.
Personally and selfishly I cannot wait for Paul Sturrock to sign Buffon, Kaka, Cannavaro, Pirlo and Gattuso for the mighty Owls.

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