In the spring of 2022, Tottenham Hotspur Director of Football Fabio Paratici escaped serious trouble over his alleged role in financial malfeasance while in a similar role at Juventus after charges were dismissed by an Italian financial magistrate. But it appears that his troubles may be far from over.
Earlier this week, the entire board of directors at Juventus, including club president and Andrea Agnelli and vice president Pavel Nedved, suddenly and abruptly resigned over emerging news of additional financial crimes at the Serie A club. The details are sketchy and at times a little contradictory, but this latest round of investigations appears to be separate from the Prisma scandal that centered around player inflation allegations from last spring, and instead involves inflation of capital gains and the false concealment of at least €35m in unreported club losses. You can read more about the situation at Juventus at our sister site Black Red and White All Over.
This morning, news is emerging in the Italian media suggested that indictments could be prepared for 13 current and former administrators at Juventus, including Paratici. While Paratici has not been accused of any crimes while at Tottenham, the investigation is said to involve “information rigging, false corporate communications, and false invoicing” during his tenure in Turin. The decision on whether to issue indictments for Paratici and others is said will be decided over the next few days.
However, it’s not clear at this time what steps are or could be taken, and various Italian outlets have suggested different potential outcomes, ranging from an arrest warrant to outright dismissal of charges. And even if indictments are issued, it’s also not clear whether or not Italian financial authorities would have jurisdiction within England to summon Paratici and others for questioning. At this point it’s not even explicitly clear that the investigation involving Paratici is even the same one that resulted in the resignation of the Juventus board.
But regardless of the extent of Paratici’s involvement in this latest Italian football finance scandal, it most certainly is a very bad look. Whether or not any allegations (current or future) are proven, Paratici was certainly in the radius of some materially shady stuff while at the Old Lady, and close enough to it that some serious questions should be asked about his level of involvement.
At this point there’s no reason to think that Tottenham Hotspur is involved in any way in the ongoing investigations, nor that any of Paratici’s transfers, which include Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus, are irregular in any way.
Who knows what any of this means. The resignation of the entire Juventus board of directors is a pretty big deal, but it’s definitely not clear how much Paratici was involved in any malfeasance that happened at Juventus, if he was involved at all. Remember that his involvement the Prisma scandal was dismissed and he was cleared of all charges due to a lack of evidence. Will that happen here too? Could be! The Italian reports are breathless about the extent of possible financial crimes, as one would expect, but all we really know is what’s being aggregated by the Italian media, translated into English, and filtered through another series of Spurs aggregation.
In short, we really don’t know anything. It would be prudent to keep an eye on this, but the wheels of justice turn slowly and it’s likely going to be a while before we get any clarity. There’s absolutely no reason to panic... yet.