While the main focus of Tottenham Hotspur fans’ attention is clearly the ongoing managerial situation that appears to function as a glacially slow firing of Antonio Conte, there’s another big question mark over the club as well — the status of Managing Director of Football Fabio Paratici.
Early reports suggested that Don Fabio was taking the lead in identifying and negotiating for Spurs’ next full time manager. There are even lists out there purporting to be Paratici’s “favorites” — one has former Spain manager Luis Enrique at the top, with Frankfurt’s Oliver Glasner and the Twin Thomases (Frank and Tuchel) also represented.
But is that really the case? It might not be. A new report in Calciomercato (lol I know) suggests that Paratici might actually be on his way out of the club along with Conte, and Spurs could go from a club with a close-knit manager and DoF to one without either. Calciomercato writes that Paratici’s future is “intertwined” with that of Conte. Antonio was basically Paratici’s guy — they know each other from their time to Juventus, and the report states it was Paratici who convinced Daniel Levy to give full trust (and that £15m/year salary) to Conte last winter.
And there’s are other reasons that Paratici could go. First, Fabio’s initial contract, which he signed in June of 2021, was initially 18 months, with a possibility of an extension. We haven’t heard anything public about an extension since then which suggests he could be past his end-date or on a month-to-month contract, possibly making it easier to let him go should the need arise.
Then, of course, his involvement in Juventus’ Prisma scandal is pretty substantial anvil hanging over his head. He’s currently appealing an Italian court’s ruling that he was heavily involved in the financial malfeasance at the Old Lady resulting in a 20 month ban from Italian football. That same organization wants to extend the ban to ALL of football, which would make his job at Spurs untenable. The appeals court is set to announce its ruling no later than April 19, but even if it gets overturned, Calciomercato raises the possibility that he could return to Italy for a position with an Italian club.
All of this is, of course, incredibly speculative which is a given when it comes to Italian media reports, so take it with an entire salt mine for now. However, the instability of Paratici’s situation does beg the question as to why he’d be involved in a managerial search of such magnitude at all. After all, this is a guy who oversaw the disastrous post-Mourinho managerial search of 2021, nearly hired Gennaro Gattuso, actually DID hire Nuno Espirito Santo, and had that weird thing with Paulo Fonseca who everyone thought was going to be Spurs’ next manager and then wasn’t.
My guess, and this is pure speculation, is that the decision of who to hire to replace Conte, both temporarily and permanently, is going to be Daniel Levy’s. Paratici might be drawing up some lists and may have his own preferences, but I find it kind of hard to believe, based on everything we know about Levy, his past, and how he operates, that he wouldn’t want to make such a foundational decision on his own.