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Calciopoli Part 2. Is Juve headed back to Serie B?

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Where were you when you first heard in 2006 that Juventus was under investigation for match fixing, and what were you thinking when you first heard the news, were you nervous? Did you think it was real? Did you even care? Maybe you weren’t even a fan of Juve yet, hell, maybe you weren’t even born yet and now you’ve made me feel as old as Allegri’s tactics.

In the spring of 2006, I was a young Juventino, life was good, we just won another Scudetto, we had Zlatan who at the time was one of the best young players in the world, summer was approaching, Italy were one of the favourites to win the upcoming FIFA World Cup and I had just bought myself a new BMW. Life was good, until of course I arrived at an outdoor birthday party of a childhood friend of mine, and it was there for the first time I was told by an acquaintance the horrible news that would take me from an on top of the world Juventini, to will I ever see my team play a meaningful game on a European night ever again.

The acquaintance’s name was Marco, A real Guido type with the douchebag blond ponytail which just reeked of his arrogance. We never really got along and I always enjoyed seeing his displeasure when I took his poker money, so when I approached him at the party, and he had a smile on his face, I knew something was up, and whatever it was, wasn’t good news for me.

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Marco was a huge Calcio fan who didn’t have a favourite team, but his passion for hating Juventus went as deep as my love for them, so when he then told me if I “heard about Juventus’s match fixing scandal (and that) we might get sent down to Serie C1”, just from the glee on his face, I knew this was real and that we were in trouble. After that night I began to research as much information on this scandal as I could, getting information on the World Wide Web wasn’t as easy as it is now, their was no Fabrizio Romano, Romeo Agresti or even a Max Statman to tell me what’s what.

As we all know Italy triumphantly won the World Cup that summer, and you would think that would be enough of a distraction for Juventini to take their mind off of the scandal even if it was just for a couple of weeks, but even that was impossible as the Football world was shocked to hear of the sudden suicide attempt of Juventus legend and and newly appointed manager Gianluca Pessotto shortly before Italys round of 16 game against Austrailia. An incident that had taken place at Juventus HQ and even without evidence or confirmation, you knew had to be related to this scandal in someway as the the incident had taken place a day before he was set to speak with investigators.

For me that was the first true sign that whatever punishment was about to be handed down to Juventus would be extremely harsh, something I knew would leave scars for years to come, and that was our eventual relegation to Serie B.

When the latest news hit of new investigations pertaining to Juventus’s finances, I took them extremely serious, even if I tell friends in private we have nothing to worry about, because those scars still run deep. Knowing how much the media hates Juventus, I have feared everyday since 2006 that something like this could happen at anytime.

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We now live in a different world from 2006, that when a story like this breaks, people want info and answers immediately. I can’t tell you how many private messages I’ve gotten in the last week about this topic, and the number one question people have, for the last few days my inbox has been filled with messages of “what are the chances Juventus gets relegated?”

What does a person like me do when questions like this get asked and I would like to give them the quickest most sensible answers, well I turn to the best most rational source of information and knowledge I know in the whole Calcio Community, and that man is journalist and host of The Italian Football Podcast, Nima Tavllaey Roodsari.

The following is what he had to say about where he thinks this scandal is headed and it’s eventual outcome.

To save you from the suspense, my first question to him was are Juve headed to Serie B, and his short answer was no and here’s why. First you must realize this isn’t Serie A coming after Juventus, this is years of horrible deals, COVID striking at the worst possible time and cooking the books in order to kick the can down the road just to see another day, coming back to bite them in the Butt, and now things have gotten so bad that the Italian government has taken notice and is coming after them as they would any other company. According to Nima it’s looking more likely that Indictments will be handed out for all those involved in these financial wrong doings, and is looking more likely that Paratici, Nedved and of course President Agnelli could all be in legal jeopardy. What does their future hold and what will be their punishment? Well that’s up to the courts and of course Agnelli’s Cousin John Elkann to decide.

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Now to why he doesn’t think there will be any harsh punishment handed down by the league. Firstly, in order for Juventus to be relegated, Serie A would have to prove that cooking the books gained Juventus a competitive advantage and with all the evidence he has seen to this date and the way the rule is written, the only punishment he can see coming is no more than a hefty fine because in order for Juve to see such harsh Punishment as relegation, points deduction and Titles being taken away, Serie A would have to prove that there was an illegal sporting advantage and cooking the books doesn’t fall under that category.

If anything, this scandal exposes how bad things have really gotten for Juventus in the last few years under Agnelli’s watch, and now this may be enough for his detractors inside the board to finally get their wish and have Andre Agnelli move on from the club.

It seems that even after all the success Mr Agnelli has brought to Juventus, he will leave the club in the gutter in which he once rescued it from.

 

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