Fabio Paratici’s punishment over his alleged involvement with financial malfeasance while at Juventus could be clarified in the next 1-4 weeks, according to the Evening Standard. However, that’s unlikely to settle the instability and uncertainty over his status at Tottenham Hotspur anytime soon. Paratici, who was hit with a 30-month suspension from Italian football by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) for his role in Juventus’ PRISMA scandal, has appealed his punishment to the Italian Olympic Committee who are set to rule on whether the FIGC overstepped their bounds by banning Paratici along with other Juventus top executives.
FIGC is also attempting to have Paratici’s Italian football ban extend to all of football, and should his sanctions be upheld ty the Italian Olympic Committee, the FIGC would then push for FIFA to take further action, which would absolutely impact Paratici’s current position of Managing Director of Football at Tottenham Hotspur. However, this decision is Paratici’s first attempt at an appeal within Italy, and is unlikely to fully decide his fate regardless of how the Olympic Committee rules.
As Director of Football at Juventus, Paratici allegedly was complicit in the PRISMA scandal that rocked Juventus a few months ago and resulted in the resignation of the entirely of its senior club leadership. Paratici had left Juventus for the Spurs job before these allegations were brought to light, and there are no indications that he has done anything untoward, shady, or illegal while in his Tottenham role.
However, even if his Italian sanctions are reversed, that doesn’t mean he gets off scott free. The Standard states that should the Olympic Committee decide that the charges are illegitimate, it doesn’t reduce his punishment, it merely sends the case back to the FIGC for a new trial, a process that could add weeks to the timeline.
If the sanctions are deemed legitimate, the next step is to see whether FIFA opts to, or declines to, extend Paratici’s sanctions to all of football. Should that happen, quite obviously Paratici’s job at Spurs becomes untenable, as there’s no point in having a Director of Football who can’t work within the game. But it seems like we’re still a long way from that scenario — the Standard suggests that while Paratici’s fate is likely to be decided before the end of the season, it will take a while to get to that point and exhaust all of Don Fabio’s appeals.
There’s a lot that’s up in the air right now at Tottenham, not least of which is the future of Antonio Conte and whether he will sign a new contract, a prospect that is looking less and less likely. Conte’s fate isn’t necessarily intertwined with Paratici’s, but there are open questions as to whether or how Paratici would fit into a new power dynamic if and when Spurs make a new managerial hire. Mauricio Pochettino, widely tipped to be one of the favorites to take over should Conte leave, preferred not to work with a director of football in his previous stint at the club, opting to shoulder the burden of those responsibilities himself. The cloud of uncertainty following Paratici at the moment doesn’t help matters.
Tottenham has not commented at all on Paratici, the charges, or his status, which begs the question — is it better to soldier on and attempt to exhaust all appeals in order to keep Paratici in his current job, or just cut ties now and restructure the back office? If he stays and the Italy ban is not extended globally, would Paratici be able to negotiate with Italian teams for players, or work with Italian players/managers in general? Too many questions and, at this point, no clear answers.