Back in November, we first wrote about a report in the Italian media that seemed to implicate Tottenham Hotspur managing director of football Fabio Paratici with some mild transfer related financial malfeasance while he was sporting director at Juventus. If you want a refresher on what that case seems to be about, you should click on that article (I had to as well, it’s been a while).
But in short, Paratici was reportedly implicated by Italian financial authorities for conspiring with other clubs to artificially inflate the price of Juventus players in a few weird swap deals to basically make Juventus’ books look slightly better than what they actually were. This was a sweeping and far-ranging investigation that implicated more than 60 executives at numerous clubs throughout Italy. Paratici was one of six people indicted at Juventus, along with Juventus president Andrea Agnelli and vice-president Pavel Nedved. It was a pretty big deal in Italy, but didn’t make much of a dent in the English media, especially since Paratici had already moved on from Juventus to the Spurs job.
There are no reports of any accusations of wrongdoing by Paratici at Tottenham Hotspur
Now we have an update. According to an Italian language article in La Gazzetta dello Sport, which has been on the forefront of the reporting on this story, the tribunal investigating these allegations is getting ready to rule on the case, possibly as soon as by this coming Easter, and it might not look too good for ol’ Don Fabio. The report states that prosecutors for Italian financial regulators are asking for a fine of €800k levied on Juventus, and a 16 month long ban from football for Paratici. By contrast, Agnelli was recommended for a 12 month ban; Nedved was recommended for an 8 month ban.
So what does this mean? Well, we honestly and truly don’t know yet. First, it’s important to state that the 16 month ban is a recommendation from the prosecutors — the tribunal has yet to rule as to whether any of the accused are actually guilty of the financial malfeasance, nor do we know if they will accept the prosecutors’ recommendations should Paratici be found guilty.
Secondly, it’s not at all clear what a “16 month ban” means in context. This is primarily an Italian state charge, so one would assume it would mean Paratici couldn’t work in Italian football for the duration of his ban. But does that also mean it could impact his work at Tottenham in England? I have no idea!
The worst case scenario is if it comes to light that UEFA has some sort of reciprocity agreement in place where punishments in one UEFA-administered league carries over into all UEFA-administered leagues. If a “16 month ban from football” means literally a ban from ALL football, that’d be very bad. UEFA has a disciplinary process that’s separate from that of Serie A, and from what I can gather none of the outlets reporting on this story get into what a guilty verdict might mean for Tottenham, except to wonder about this very question.
And it might not mean too much! If Paratici is found guilty and banned for 16 months from Italian football, welp, he’s already working in England so he can happily serve his ban from Serie A while helping turn Antonio Conte and Tottenham Hotspur into Premier League champions. The fact that a lot of English language outlets haven’t really picked up on this story yet makes me think this could be a more likely outcome, though again, we don’t really know.
We’ll see by Friday, when the tribunal is supposed to rule. If found guilty, any punishments for the indicted individuals would be meted out shortly after Easter. Tottenham has of yet not made any comment about the allegations levied against Paratici.