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October 2016
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It’s time to start arresting people in the big wide world of football.

What links Northampton Town, Napoli and Milan?

Seems like they have today all been linked to rumours about naughty things going on with money.

To start with Northampton, in 2005 David Cardoza had a wheeze that Sixfields Stadium could be doubled in size, although quite why was never clear.  It was rarely if ever full as a stadium, and the Cobblers were not exactly pounding on the door of the Premier League.  But as is the way of such things he became chairman and set about it, or if not it, then he certainly set about something.

And then ten years later, in November 2015, with  administration and winding-up petitions flying around the court like paper aeroplanes, he agreed to sell a controlling stake in the club to Kelvin Thomas.  He had perhaps got his sums wrong.  

Now Mr Cardoza has been arrested by police investigating a £10.25m loan given to the club by the borough council.   There is talk of those awful “alleged financial irregularities” in relation to the loan, which was designed to help the club develop the stadium, as he said he would do.

Det Ch Insp Paul Spicer said it was a “very complex investigation,” which really wasn’t exactly an illuminating statement.

But never mind cos we can hot foot it to Italy where investigators are investigating allegations of systematic tax evasion among senior officials in clubs in the A and B divisions.  The names of Napoli, Lazio, and Milan, keep cropping up.

No one has been charged in Italy but the Naples prosecutor Vincenzo Piscitelli said €12m had been seized in terms of cash, property and other assets.  They are investigating 58 people, although being spoilsports they won’t tell us who these people are.

But the Italian media is suggesting that the Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis, Adriano Galliani, the chief executive ofMilan, Claudio Lotito, the president of Lazio, and a handful of former players, had been involved in the investigation which has been kicking around since 2012.

At the centre of the investigation are allegations that players and other individuals doctored documents to try to avoid tax payments – which when you come to think about it is akin to the allegation that went around Rangers for a while.   There is talk of a “deep-rooted system” to evade taxes involving 35 football clubs and 100 individuals.

What makes this all sound a little familiar is that the players are said to have created false invoices for their clubs, which then meant they paid lower rates of tax.

Milan said the allegations are “absolutely marginal and not founded and which will come to a resolution, in terms of both tax and criminal law, with a due dismissal”.

In 2013 many clubs were searched as part of a tax fraud investigation after which prosecutors indicated that foreign clubs were also being examined and that the investigation involved the avoidance of payments in connection to player transfers.

Of course what the clubs could do is call upon Google.  They haven’t paid much if any tax in Britain for six years despite making huge profits, but have now said that they will generously make a donation to the government of £130m.  It has agreed to pay around £400m in France, where it does far less trading.  Some MPs are not impressed although the Chancellor thought it was all jolly good, and showed that no one could pull the wool over his eyes.


9 comments to It’s time to start arresting people in the big wide world of football.

  • colario

    More evidence that the love of money is the root of all evil, if not all evil in a none believing in God society certainly the love of money is the root of all corruption.

  • omgarsenal

    I love the title but disagree with the timeline….it is well past the time to start arresting people in Football, it is now the time to both arrest criminals like Blatter and company (Warner,Platini etc.) AND dismantle their MaFIFA Cosa Nostra, their MaEUFA and similar illicit and corrupt organizations such as the FA, the PIGMOB and maybe even certain Clubs who routinely are caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

  • Menace

    The Google incident is proof that the highest levels of society are corrupt (if government can be called highest). That acceptance of a pittance shows the arrogance of power. Not dissimilar to dancing Dean after a cheating display of blindness . The blindness that media accuse Wenger of.
    Football has been dragged into the gutter by those who have grabbed charge . Those who pontificate on schedule & value without any consideration for the fan upon which the game was built. I hope the supporters association get some control back before the final destruction.

  • nicky

    If we are talking about arrests in football, I would like to see thugs like Keane, Shawcross and the Nevilles arrested for GBH and tried in the courts.
    In this way the black side of our national game would be obliterated.

  • john

    Also Cahill, Costa and a good few more

  • Porter

    It was said some time ago that football would implode and eat itself. Looks like the prophecy is coming to pass

  • nicky

    Unless, as a start, the quite obscene increases in wages are capped in some way, your forecast of implosion is assured. 😉

  • Mandy Dodd

    Napoli…..think tax evasion could be the least of the issues with them

  • Porter

    I am sure that there is a family business somewhere in Naples that has some influence