By Tony Attwood
Gian Piero Gasperini has become manager of the Milanese club Inter. And just as he has, so Stefano Palazzi, who works for the Italian football federation (FIGC) has published a new 72-page report on the match-fixing of 2006. After looking at transcripts of phone-tap recordings, Palazzi has reached the view that Inter, (mostly in the guise of their late president Giacinto Facchetti) were as much to blame as the other clubs that have already been indicted and punished.
However because of the way the law works in Italy action against an accused person or club needs to start within four years of the offence – and it hasn’t. But it seems it is possible to take away Inter’s 2006 title – which would be amusing since they only got it because Juve, having won the league, had the title removed because of match fixing.
I guess they could go on passing it down the chain forever until we end up with a club that got relegated actually being awarded the title. That would be a first.
The FIGC president, Giancarlo Abete, has said their will be a ruling on 18 July
And there’s one other little oddity here. Inter are a big club, as we all know. But they have taken on a small time manager, who has only managed one Serie A club before (Genoa) and was sacked from there after picking up only a handful of points in the first 10 games last season.
It would be a bit like Arsenal looking at the manager of a second division club who have just scraped promotion through the play offs into the Premier League, and then making him manager of Arsenal. Which of course would never happen. (Err, oh shit!)
Worse for Inter they did try and bring in the big hitters, but kept getting rebuffed, a bit like the spotty boy at the disco who tries his luck with the pretty lady and gradually works his way down the list until he finally asks the fat girl no one else wants to get near. Marcelo Bielsa, André Villas-Boas and Fabio Capello all turned Inter down.
(When Fabio turns you down, you know you have a problem).
As to the match fixing – it is rather reassuring that Italy continues to take such matters seriously – and this just at a time when in the UK we are starting to warm to the idea that people do actually hack into our phones all day every day.
As you may know we (the UK) have lost a newspaper (I use the word lightly) as a result of the phone tapping scandal, and we might lose a few police officers too if the enquiry here gets round to looking at why it took so long to realise the News of the World was hacking everyone and anyone all day long. The little matter of them not revealing police corruption in return for the police turning a blind eye seems to be lurking around. But of course nothing is proven, and I haven’t seen the evidence.
So from there, it is but a short step to say, “did anyone at the News of the World actually listen to conversations between refs and representatives of clubs?” You never know. The NoW could actually do something useful at the end of its life.
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