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Italian prosecutor calling for 20-month Paratici suspension in Juventus financial scandal

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Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur Director of Football Fabio Paratici might be in some serious trouble. There’s a new report out in CBS Sports (referencing an Italian-language report in La Gazzetta dello Sport) that says Italian prosecutors investigating the latest round of financial malfeasance at Juventus, a time when Paratici served in a similar role for the Italian club, is recommending a nine point points deduction for the Old Lady. Giuseppe Chine is also recommending a 20 month suspension for Paratici, and similar suspensions for former Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, and board vice-chair Pavel Nedved.

A lot of Paratici’s difficulties center around a so-called “black book” recently found in his office by investigators that reportedly contains an alternate set of Juventus financial reports to the ones publicly filed and that seem to corroborate reports of fake capital gains during and before the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s plenty of finger pointing going on from people currently or formerly affiliated with Juventus, but the gist of the allegations are that Juventus found themselves in a financial pickle after the mammoth signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018, and Paratici may have done some moderate financial fraud to cook the books in the club’s favor, including paying players under the table during the COVID shutdown.

This current investigation seems to be an outgrowth of the PRISMA scandal of 2021, when Paratici was accused, but ultimately acquitted, of charges that he conspired to inflate transfer fees with other football clubs for purposes of accounting trickery.

Paratici was asked about his role in the ongoing investigation last week and declined comment.

This story is huge and I feel like I only have the tiniest grasp on its significance and implications. There’s a lot that isn’t clear to me, and I would welcome further explanation of what’s going on and how it might impact Paratici and/or Tottenham. A prosecutor calling for suspensions doesn’t mean that Paratici will actually be suspended, nor is it clear how wide ranging any suspension goes — is it from Italian football? European football? Could this impact his current job at Tottenham Hotspur? It’s still very unclear and I know I don’t feel smart enough or have enough understanding to write up an explainer.

What seems clear, however, is that Don Fabio is in some serious hot water. According to the Gazzetta report, we might have a judge’s ruling on at least part of this by the end of the day today.