mercredi, mai 31, 2006

Panini's Precious Pastime

This Year's Album

J'Accuse reproduces this precious article from today's Times about one of Europe's most popular hobbies. The article is tailed by a number of facts that will make any trivia buff drool! Incidentally do note the arguments of the parent's association. I feel that the parent's association are just as bad as parents these days. What do they mean "pester power"? My dad never gave in to pester power... he would buy the box of stickers and stash it away safely and provide my bro and I with our daily dose of three packets. Five if we were very good. I get the feeling that parents are becoming increasingly soft and expect everyone but themselves to take care of their own children. How dare they criticise Panini?

The Times
May 31, 2006
The £100 World Cup penalty
By Adam Fresco

FILLING the official World Cup football sticker album has become an expensive pastime with children now having to pay more than £100 to complete their collection. Panini, who produce the albums, have been given the red card by consumer groups for making it such a costly hobby and putting so much pressure on parents to help to pay for it.

There are 598 stickers to find and each packet of random stickers, containing five players, costs 35p. The law of probabilities, however, means that the nearer collectors get to completing the albums, the more difficult it is to find those elusive, last few players. With 17 football stars from each of the 32 teams to find, plus a team photograph, a badge and pictures of the stadiums, it could cost more than £100 to complete one album.

Collectors all over the world are logging on to website forums trying to find someone with whom to swap surplus stickers. Some are complaining that they have a huge surplus of some players while others are as rare as an England penalty shoot-out win. One calls them “a damn rip-off”.
There are 22 more stickers to collect this year than at the last World Cup in 2002, already making it several pounds more expensive to acquire them all.

The National Consumer Council has complained about the cost and the irritation for parents whose children are unable to complete the albums. An NCC spokesman said: “These albums cost an arm and a leg to fill, far more than children can afford. Our message is that they are very costly and parents ultimately face having to put up with all the annoyance and irritation that these stickers cause. “Whenever the World Cup comes around, companies latch on to it as a big marketing opportunity and Panini is no exception. This is a classic case of pester power.
“It risks a backlash from parents who hate the pester power that heavy marketing to kids unleashes.”

Bill Hibberd, of the consumer group Parentkind, also complained about the grief that parents get from their children. “The World Cup series is just one of many sticker sets that this firm offers and, of course, this is not the only firm offering this type of service. “It is a great business idea but really tough on parents. We at Parentkind feel that parents get a raw deal from the unleashing of the demon pester power. “Unlike a TV or radio, children cannot be switched off and once pester power is unleashed it can become a relentless berating of the parents until either tempers flare or the parent gives in.”

Panini claims that completing the album costs no more than some video games and that swapping stickers encourages children to mix with each other. He said that, at 35p a pack, the stickers were better for children than sickly confectionary. Mark Warsop, the marketing director of Panini UK, said: “The idea of the sticker album is that you do it over a long period of time and it is a pocket-money purchase.

“You are supposed to collect it over 12-or-so weeks. When you break down how much it costs over that period of time for the amount of enjoyment, it is in line with other products. “If you compare it with chocolate and packs of crisps which kids consume on a regular basis, it is cheaper and better than paying 35p for a chocolate bar.”

Empire of cards

  • Panini brothers founded the company in 1961
  • Collectible cards featuring footballers’ photographs date back to late 19th century when used by cigarette companies to boost sales
  • On average, Panini has produced 1 billion packs a year in past few seasons
  • First sticker printed was Bruno Bolchi, captain of Inter Milan
  • Some collections in excellent condition have changed hands for £650.00
  • The number of stickers in each collection has more than doubled since 1970 Mexico tournament

Number of stickers

  • 598 Germany (2006)
  • 576 Korea/Japan (2002)
  • 561 France (1998)
  • 444 USA (1994)
  • 448 Italy (1990)
  • 427 Mexico (1986)
  • 427 Spain (1982)
  • 400 Argentina (1978)
  • 400 Germany (1974)
  • 271 Mexico (1970)

J'Accusao (Updates on the Selecao)

Brasil have beaten Lucerne 8-0 in a friendly played in Basle yesterday. Adriano (2), Ronaldo (2), Kakà, Lucio, Juninho and Robinho scored for the World Champions in the kickabout with the newly promoted Swiss First Division team. Meanwhile, coach Parreira announced that as of the 5th June, the training sessions of the selecao that are normally conducted to the samba music of the affectionate torcida will not be held in public in order to allow the team to concentrate.

site to follow:
picture: torcida follows team in Basle come rain or shine
betandwin odds: Brasil still no. 1 favourites to win title

mardi, mai 30, 2006

Volver *****

Don't just sit there. Go watch it. A magical modern fable set in La Mancha, home of Don Quixote. Penelope Cruz is superb, as are Carmen Maura and Lola Duenas in this surreal tale that takes you on a whirlwind trip in the lives of three generations of women who have much more to take than what life originally throws at them... and do.

lundi, mai 29, 2006

Socrates: Football's Philosopher

From today's Times:

“I love women and I love life and that’s what’s important,” he says. “I only do everything else in order to pay for that.” But he also loves the concept of the glorious defeat of 1982. “That Brazilian team represented fantasy, idealism, an idyll,” he says. “Italy represented efficiency, effectiveness. But at least we lost fighting for our ideals. And you can compare that to society today. We have lost touch with humanity, people are driven by results. They used to go to football to see a spectacle. Now, with very few exceptions, they go to watch a war and what matters is who wins. That is why I value the Seleção for this World Cup — it might just be a team with ideals.” - Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira (Socrates)

samedi, mai 27, 2006

Maltarightnow and J'Accuse

From maltarightnow :

Il-mexxej tal-Moviment tal-Lemin-Estrem, Imperium Ewropa, Norman Lowell kien arrestat mill-pulizija mir-residenza tiegħu f'Ħ'Attard u qed ikun interrogat fil-Kwartieri tal-pulizija b'rabta ma' akkużi marbuta ma inċitament ta' mibgħeda razzjali f'laqgħat pubbliċi li organizza f'diversi postijiet fosthom f'ristoranti.

Norman Lowell qed ikun investigat fuq tlett laqgħat pubbliċi li matulhom hu allegat li ħeġġeġ lil dawk preżenti għal mibgħeda razzjali.

Għadu mhux magħruf jekk Normal Lowell mhux se jitressaq il-Qorti b'rabta ma' dawn l-allegazzjonijiet.

Summary: Police have arrested far-right movement leader Norman Lowell in his residence in Attard. He is being interrogated at police Headquarters in connection with accusations relating to incitement to racial hatred in various public places (including some restaurants). The invesigations concern three public meetings during which it is alleged that Lowell incited those present to racial hatred. It is not yet known whether Norman Lowll will be taken to Court with these allegations.

Note: We note the clear reference to Normal (sic) Lowell in the press coverage by maltarightnow (highlighted). J'accuse has referred to the rightist leader in this manner for some time now... I would like to reassure readers that I have not started contributing to maltarightnow and that the reference to the leader as "Normal Lowell" is either the result of a typo or of the possibility that the contributor is also a regular reader of j'accuse.

Air Later

I am finally back in the Duchy. The finally in the last sentence is in no way related to any desire to leave the island. No way. It is related to the time it took from the moment I left my home in St. Julian's to the time I arrived in 22, rue de Bragance to be greeted by an overjoyed Xitan.

Departure time 1400 hours. Arrival 1245 hours. That is almost eleven hours of travel and I did not go to Cuba. Normally, travelling between Malta and Luxembourg on any other day than Sunday will always take you over six hours (real travelling time). The main reason is that unless you fly Luxair's Sunday offer, there is no direct link between the two mini-states. So you have to either pay through the eye for a Lufthansa flight connecting via Frankfurt Main or fly to Brussels and then catch a train to Luxembourg. Flight time is three hours (during which the Captain kindly announces that you have just flown over Luxembourg!) and then the train time includes a twenty minute ride into Brussels (to BXL Nord) then switch for a three hour train till you get to your destination. Top it all up with a ten euro taxi ride and you get the ticket!

Now Luxembourg is not some outback in the Sub-Sahara. It is one of the three cities that host the EU institutions. But that monopoly called Air Malta on one side, and the other called Luxair on the other, have not deemed it fit to provide a regular service to the other. You would think that Air Malta's public service aspect (the one that will be highlighted the day Air Malta is sold off at a discount to some Saudi Sheik) includes providing a link to one of the bases of the European Institutions. You would also think that Luxair would provide a regular link to the 25 states for the citizens who have to commute to the Duchy in order to conduct EU related business.

But you are not allowed to think. In the case of AirMalta you are left in the hands of Brussels flights, overpriced and delayed. In the case of Luxair there is a once a week flight on Sunday that sucks and is frequently choc-a-bloc (read fully booked). So why doesn't the EU transform Ryanair into its trans-national carrier and force all states to accept it in their airports? Because it cannot do so... though it would be a bloody good move.

This post must be a bit messed up since I keep getting interrupted on skype and hotmail. But I guess you get the ticket. I'm here. I'm late. And I'm pissed off. And the lack of sun and abundance of rain is not helping my humour. The better half is still somewhere in Alghero Sardinia so the only company I have is of an overcuddly cat... which is ... in a way... some consolation.

See ya... later of course.

jeudi, mai 25, 2006

Disclaimers - a lamppost

The vivamalta fellows have added a disclaimer just before entering their forum section. it reads as follows:


You are hereby informed that you are leaving the official site of VivaMalta

and are about to enter a Public Forum.

All threads, replies, posts, etc... are strictly the personal views

and opinions of the authors who express their views anonymously

on using a Nickname of their choice

The views expressed by the registered members on the Forum do not
necessarily state and/or reflect those of the Administrator and/or other
Co-Administrators of, neither is VivaMalta responsible for
the content or the privacy policies of other web sites to which we may link.

The viewpoints reflected herein should in no way be construed as an

incitement for the performance of any illegal activity or act of violence.

Notwithstanding the above, we cannot accept responsibility for the opinions
of individuals who choose to use this forum as a notice board for free speech
Furthermore, monitoring of all replies at all times is not possible, therefore there
might be a delay in disciplinary procedure in case of infringement of our rules.

Such disclaimers have become necessary ever since the spate of arson attacks has led the site managers to worry that their chit-chat might be leading a few hotheads from among their fold to take action. Unfortunately for vivamalta, it will be not so easy to brush off responsibility for the goings-on in the forum that one reaches after clicking on the link following the disclaimer. To begin with the forum is evidently intended as an extension of their website.

Secondly net jurisprudence points clearly to a liability that can be traced as far up as the Internet Service Provider himself, not to mention the forum administrator. The jurisprudence finds its roots in a case called Byrne vs Deane that took place in 1937 in the UK when the internet was just a dream and Berners-Lee was probably not born yet. In that case, a Golf Club was held responsible for a defamatory letter posted on the notice boards of the Club. The court held that defendants "had complete control of the walls" on the Club and could have removed the note had they seen it.

The principle remains the same with the internet. Don't let all the technology confuse you. The law is simple and clear. You control and you are responsible. The landmark case in this regard is Godfrey vs Demon, 1999. A certain Dr Godfrey noticed that a newsgroup hosted by ISP Demon Internet Limited were defamatory. Notwithstanding a strong case by the defense under the Defamation Act, Godfrey won the case on the basis of the control principle that had been introduced n the Byrne case of 1937.

Another step was achieved in Totalise PLC v Motley Fool, 2001. In this case you had elements similar to a hypothetical situation that might arise from postings on the vivamalta fora. An author posted defamatory statements using a "nome de web" (the net version of a nome de plume - in this case it was Z Dust). By the end of the case, the court ordered defendants to disclose the information regarding the identity of "Z Dust" in order for him to face his liabilities vis-a-vis the persons he had defamed.

It would not be far from the truth to say that most of the Maltese legislation relating to the facts of the matter are modelled on the UK legislation behind these landmark cases. Both vivamalta and its gallant band of merry anonymous posters must be more careful with regard to their postings and their confidence in disclaimers.

This is the inaugural post in a series called: "lampposts - moments of illumination"

Travel Blog (victory roll)

First of all: I know that it is a TGIL day and that some might have been expecting the usual breakdown. I have not had time. I will only say that the questions being asked by the Queen of the Grammatically Imperfect regarding the constitutional clauses were posed by yours truly to the two main political party leaders before the last elections in an open letter published in the times. No answers were forthcoming from Fred and Ed. None had been expected. Electoral intrigues will remain so long as the political duopoly want to keep their hand on the reigns of power.

Secondly: Nurse Pica and Lanzarote are due their congrats for their blogdays. Keep the blogs rolling people.

And now the latest from Melita. The day before the last on the island of heatwaves and kafkesque administratin has borne the fruits of a week of hard work (and brackets of leisure). Here are the results of the j'accuse jury:

1. J'Accuse vs. Kunsill Lokali San Giljan: victory for j'accuse communicated over the the phone by a subdued Council Secretary. The three cars of the Zammit family in Malta will be bearing special parking tickets for Paceville - as has been their right all through - without exception. All traces of discrimnation against Gozitans have been removed.

2. J'Accuse vs. HSBC (your local bank): again a victory obtained through perseverance and arguing. In a few months J'accuse will have purged all links with the Hong Kong and Singapore Banking Corporation and will have his money safely stacked away closer to home. A saintly solution.

3. J'Accuse vs. Licensing Department: a laminated license issued in a record two day span notwithstanding that it was not yet time to renew. (This is the lesser of the victories since it involved a special administrative fee of Lm7.50).

4. J'Accuse vs. The Tan: Tan maintained. Short swimming periods altogether satisfactory and it appears that El Akkuzador will be leaving the island before the swarm of jelly fish settles in.

5. The Waistline vs. J'Accuse: the only battle where J'Accuse is on the losing end. Between family banquets and delicious platters served all over the island, it seems that the akkuzador will have to resort to such lowdown methods as special creams to cheat the love handle cells into absorbing less fat... very gggggggay.

Fausto beat me to the Justyne Caruana story. Daphne just about sums up the priorities of the popolin on the island but I assure you guys living abroad that it is not even half as bad as it sounds when just reading the papers. Malta remains the country I love and the place I call home... slut as it may be....

... don't forget... last one out switch off the lamppost.


From the UK Independent Travel Section:

Gozo: Notes from a small island

Gozo is the Eden from which its sister Malta was expelled. But it's got more than a few crazy ways - that's part of its charm, says Adrian Mourby

Published: 21 May 2006

Gozo is an odd island. It's idyllic, yes, but just a little bit crazy. The first thing I noticed about it was that there are two opera houses at opposite ends of the main street. And they're big. For an island with a population smaller than Bridlington that is quite something. But it's a clue. Gozitans cannot bear to be outdone, especially by each other. They compete in everything, even 1,500-seat opera houses.

The people on neighbouring Malta look upon their sister isle with fondness. "This is how Malta was before independence," they say. "This was how Malta used to be, before we knocked everything down and covered it in concrete." And they're right. Thank God the Maltese weren't allowed to bulldoze Valletta and Mdina, but in the early Seventies, under Dom Mintoff, the prime minister, the sunshine isle went helter-skelter in search of the cheap buck. Terraces of 18th-century houses and the odd Baroque palazzo got in the way. By comparison, Gozo is the Eden from which Malta was expelled.

A quarter of the size of its blowsy neighbour, Gozo is crossed by quiet, dusty roads leading to small, low villages dominated by huge Baroque churches where old ladies in black sit in silent, toothless judgement on the occasional coach party. Gozo's rocky inlets are quiet too, havens for swimmers - and smugglers who pass through here on their way between Sicily and North Africa - and its land is rich. Gozo produces much of the food con-sumed on Malta, and Gozetan farmers have learnt that there is money to be made by turning their outbuildings into luxury holiday accommodation.

And yet, underneath the serenity, there blazes this fierce competitive streak. They feel no sense of rivalry with Malta, that rather slutty sister across the Comino Channel, she who long ago prostituted herself to the British Navy and now turns tricks for lager-loving tourists. No, the people of Gozo fight among themselves, sometimes literally, and over almost anything.

"You'll find one person opens a shoe shop here," says Ann Monsarrat, widow of Nicholas Monsarrat, the author of The Cruel Sea, "and the next day someone else opens a shoe shop in the same street. It's the same with the churches. In 1836 Rabat Cathedral formed a marching band. So the Basilica of St George in Rabat did the same. The cathedral then built a dance hall. So did the basilica. Then the cathedral turned its dance hall into an opera house, so the basilica built one too. Now we have two opera houses!"

Both houses are quite something, graced with chandeliers and tiers of boxes, and with workshops and dressing rooms bursting with highly motivated parishioners. Everyone works for free except the soloists, who are brought over from Sicily and treated like royalty while in residence. Productions are prepared in an atmosphere of almost paranoid secrecy. One year both houses announced their intention to stage Verdi's Aida and neither would back down. Consequently, islanders saw two productions of the same opera in that year - and nothing else.

These rivalries don't impinge directly on those who holiday or come to live here, unless they arrive at the time of the Festa of St George, when the procession is quite likely to be pelted by supporters from the cathedral. The peripatetic Monsarrats arrived in 1968, intending to move on after a few years. But Nicholas stayed until his death in 1979. Barbara Greene, cousin of the writer Graham, bought a farmhouse here after the trip she made with Greene to Liberia (published as Too Late to Turn Back). Anthony Burgess was a frequent visitor from his home on Malta.

But you wouldn't know where Barbara Greene's house was, nor indeed the Monsarrats'. Both are low stone buildings with a single door set into the wall alongside well-worn tracks. From long habit the people of Gozo keep the outsides of their houses simple. In 1551 the Turkish navy arrived here and carried off the island's entire population, all 6,000 of them, into slavery. The islanders have been keeping their heads down ever since.

Only the churches stand out prominently, and boy do they stand out. The old competitive edge between parishes has produced some enormous ecclesiastical manifestations on Gozo. Stand on one of the low rises of this limestone island at sunset and the horizon seems to bristle with domes and bell-towers, their warm sandstone glowing in the evening light. The new rotunda of St John the Baptist in Xewkija has one of the largest spans in Europe. It's so big it contains a life-size replica of the old parish church of St John inside.

The Basilica of Our Lady at Ta' Pinu is similarly vast and completely dwarfs the surrounding village. It was built after a miraculous occurrence in 1883 when a local woman heard the Virgin speaking to her. For decades thereafter the parishioners donated large portions of their livelihoods to construct this brand-new church in the Lombard Romanesque style. They wanted to praise the Lord - and to not be outdone by Xewkija.

While the isle in summer very much resembles Catholic Sicily, it has a back story that disappears into myth. This was once Ogygia, the island of Calypso. Ulysses was detained here on his way back from Troy. In those days Gozo was much lusher, by all accounts. Remains of dwarf elephant and hippo have been found. Calypso's cave is still there today - allegedly. In reality, it is no more than a cramped hollow caused by an ancient rock slide in the Xaghra cliffs, but the view is good.

Much more impressive are the twin Ggantija temples near Xaghara, believed to have been constructed in 3,500BC andthe oldest free-standing stone structures in the world. It's typically Gozitan that there should be two of these megalithic temples, one bigger than the other.

In the summer, coach parties come over from Malta to view the temples. You see them unloading from the ferry in Mgarr before being bused up here to stand around in the heat, photographing each other and mopping their brows, but it's difficult to get a handle on something that was built so long ago. Gozo makes much of Ggantija in its PR, but personally I prefer the Gozo you encounter in its cafés and restaurants, small swarthy men who have learnt to be tough by working on land and sea.

One of them, Carmelo, told me the story of one glorious summer when he took Radames (a tenor brought over from Sicily) out in his boat with some friends. "He opened some wine and he drank. And then he drank some more, this man. And he stood up in the boat and he sang all the great arias from Maestro Verdi and Maestro Puccini and by the time we took him back he had lost his voice!"

The people of Gozo forgave the unfortunate Rad-ames when someone else had to go on in his place for that night's Aida. Gozitans are very forgiving. They are the best people in the world to live among - so long as you're not from the next parish.

British Airways (0870 850 9850; offers return flights to Malta this summer starting at £319. The Gozo Channel Company ( offers ferry transfers from Cirekewwa to Mgarr every 45 minutes for ML 2 (£3) return for non-residents. Transfers by helicopter to Gozo can be arranged by Helicopteros del Sureste (00 356 2156 1301; for ML 50 (£75) return

mercredi, mai 24, 2006

Travel Blog (banks)

The lovely weather continues to be king on the Maltese archipelago. The sun's tattoo is a little less violent than in the past few days but still enough to force brother thirst and sister tired to be ever present. Today's morning trip was dedicated to those lovely fellows at HSBC. The free market for your local bank means that it is free to make fun of its customers in an even greater mire of banking bureau-hypocrisy. I assisted A. (still with the dining quirk) with his negotiations with HSBC over the home loan only to note that the HSBC promise to equal any other rate on the market was a false promise and that the Apostolic Bank's rates remain unbeatable (bless their souls).

Same goes for my little attempt to consolidate a number of loans into one account. A beaming clerk told me that such action would necessitate a recalculation of the interest from start. So two accounts joined together would suddenly incur much more interest than the original parts.

Local bank? Ha! Opus dei and APS here I come. Afternoon was comfortably spent at the private part of the beach in St. George's Bay. Deck chair's cost two pounds to rent with a towel thrown in. Give me a two pound deck chair any day and keep me away from twisted bank conditions. Amen.

Of Fascist Myths

In their effort to incite their supporters and create a general mood of anger and discomfort, the proto-fascists of this island constantly remind us of all these foreigners taking our places at work. The fascists will tell us how illegal immigrants and foreigners will be illegally employed by greedy persons and usurp the rightful place of the worker patriots. They paint the picture of a legion of dark skinned labourers plastering, painting and building away at the expense of the poor Maltese haddiem.

The Employment and Training Corporation has just released some figures for the last four months. The Times has published a summary in this article entitled "Illegal and Foreign Workers". The title is slightly misleading since it might imply that you are either illegal or foreign and that one or other category is exclusive of the other. The fact is that you are an illegal worker on the basis of whether you have a permit or not and not on the basis of nationality.

Anyhow, the facts were as follows:
892 persons were caught working without informing the ETC. Of these 892, 63 were foreign. Not exactly the army of foreigners you would be imagining whenever Normal Lowell or Warden Beatty open their mouth. It would seem that this impeccable race of Melitaion is much more prone to an easy untaxed back than are the workers come from afar. 829 Maltese illegal workers as against 63. The writing is on the wall... the discontent being nurtured by the fascist myth-spinners is based on spurious suppositions, twisted prophecies and above all unfounded allegations.

I'm off to polish my lamppost.

mardi, mai 23, 2006

Travel Blog (j'accuse dines out)

Having fulfilled the administrative obligations for the day by late morning, the midday lull was spent in the company of N. the journalist and A. the podologist (names suppressed just to look kinky like all those dining critics). Aperitif was served at one of the bars at the Waterfront (nice layout but still far from finished). The bar must be punished for running out of Kinnie and forcing me to switch to ice tea. We then moved to VLT for a lunch at a restaurant recommended by AT the lawyer and LL his lawyering partner.

Never was a recommendation more welcome than this. The restaurant in question is called Fusion Four and has opened in a strategic place in VLT. It has a terrace overlooking Valletta's City Gate bridge and the dining experience is wonderful with the patrons cosily ensconced in between the bastions. The menu is mouth watering with a titillating variety of plates that bubble with a reasonable originality. From rabbit stuffed ravioli to japanese inspired platters, Fusion Four has all that is good for the bourgoisie... it will please all but the common palate. The owner and staff are welcoming, friendly and unpretentious. The plates well proportioned (a main will easily suffice) and one cannot stop being baffled at the well chosen items to give a varied, original and tasteful experience.

As the Chernobyl Review Critic once said... three thumbs up. We then went to VLt for some shopping. The brodologist went for clothes. I went for a book about CALCIO (making sure it was printed before Moggigate) by John Foot and the Calciatori World Cup Album and a box of stickers. More about this in Gakbu's accounts this weekend.

Malta is still sunny (Athena will hate me, Kenneth will be beaming). I have not turned into an insect (fhimt Twanny) I am off to prepare for a family BBQ - my duty is dessert - I have gone for the simple - fried banana flambe' in ginger and brandy.

lundi, mai 22, 2006

Travel Blog (Kafka)

The sweltering heat is not conducive to work. Unfortunately a number of administrative errands have forced me to run around Malta between those lovable guys at the Kunsill Lokali San Giljan to the Licensing Department in Floriana. Gakbu will have a thing or two to say about flat tyres, misplaced documents and whatsnot... it should suffice to say that the day can be summed up as Kafka in the Heat...

dimanche, mai 21, 2006

Travel Blog (incognito)

Just landed in the country. The temperature is hot. Lovely ... beach tomorrow. Since I landed at 11pm I did not have much time to go around. Just enough to note that the best fajita place in the mediterranean is closed for refurbishment of the kitchen section. The hunt for some food in the big night circus amidst the lovely smells of the night and the views of exposed local flesh ended with a wonderful surprise. Hugo's - a place already commendable for its Sushi delights - has opened a take away across the road. A plate of meatballs IKEA style adorned with steakhouse chips. Fingerlicking. All washed down with what should by rights be the world's best soft drink. People still urinate just outside my habitation and two doors down my road is now graced with a Tattoo and Piercing Parlour. No prizes for guessing where el akkkuzador has landed. Keep it mum for just another day... the old ones have no idea I'm back and they're in for a surprise tomorrow when they return from the sister island.

As for any readers out there who are also on the island... give us a hoot... there's much catching up to do. I'm equipped with my (repaired) camera and am determined to get as many snapshots of lampposts as possible. Get the drift!

It's 01.39 am and Paceville still rocks as the place of urban sin. It's good to be home. Have a very good night out ... wherever you are.

vendredi, mai 19, 2006

Rusmfeld's Bird Brained Interest

I just received this email that describes an interesting conspiracy theory that is far fetched but interesting. I am reproducing it as an example of conspiracy theories that do the rounds. Here it goes... it deals with Avian Flu:

Do you know that 'bird flu' was discovered inVietnam 9 years ago?
Do you know that barely 100 people have died in the whole world in all that time?
Do you know that it was the Americans who alerted us to the efficacy of the human antiviral TAMIFLU as a preventative?
Do you know that TAMIFLU barely alleviates some symptoms of the common flu?
Do you know that its efficacy against the common flu is questioned by a great part of the scientific community?
Do you know that against a SUPPOSED mutant virus such as H5N1, TAMIFLU barely alleviates the illness?
Do you know that to date Avian Flu affects birds only?
Do you know who markets TAMIFLU? ROCHE LABORATORIES.
Do you know who bought the patent for TAMIFLU fromROCHE LABORATORIES in 1996? GILEAD SCIENCES INC.
Do you know who was the then president of GILEADSCIENCES INC. and remains a major shareholder? DONALD RUMSFELD, the present Secretary of Defence of the USA.
Do you know that the base of TAMIFLU is crushed aniseed?
Do you know who controls 90% of the world's production of this tree? ROCHE.
Do you know that sales of TAMIFLU were over $254million in 2004 and more than $1000 million in 2005?
Do you know how many more millions ROCHE can earn in the coming months if the business of fear continues?

So the summary of the story is as follows:Bush's friends decide that the medicine TAMIFLU is the solution for a pandemic that has not yet occurred and that has caused a hundred deaths worldwide in 9 years.This medicine doesn't so much as cure the common flu.ù

In normal conditions the virus does not affect humans. Rumsfeld sells the patent for TAMIFLU to ROCHE forwhich they pay him a fortune. Roche acquires 90% of the global production of crushed aniseed, the base for the antivirus. The governments of the entire world threaten a pandemic and then buy industrial quantities of the product from Roche.So we end up paying for medicine while Rumsfeld,Cheney and Bush do the business.


Luxembore (I)

Bringing you the best and most exciting news from the Bland Duchy. A new section in j'accuse: LUXEMBORE! The news items (mistakes and all) are brought to you by the Luxembourg version of Gaffe INcorporated... Our highlights are in red.

19-MAY-06 Bus Surfing Craze Reaches Luxembourg
The current craze of bus-surfing has reached Luxembourg.Yesterday, a school bus was being driven from Wobrecken towards Esch-sur-Alzette when the driver noticed three youths trying to open the emergency exit from the inside while the bus was moving.The driver of the bus did not immediately realize what was happening, and his attention was only drawn to the incident when the driver of a following bus radioed his colleague to warn him of the impending danger.When the bus arrived at the Place Norbert Metz, a youth jumped off the roof and ran off to loud shouts from schoolchildren.The youth was caught and later cautioned by police.

The Maltese version of radio conversation: Chal... ghandek tifel fuq is-saqaf haqqaccadonna....

19-MAY-06 Man Charged with Arson (The truth behind arson attacks)
A 44 year-old man has been charged with arson in Luxembourg following a fire last Thursday.The assused man confessed to starting the fire at a house in Ulflinger, the home of his brother-in-law, although he claims he never intended to hurt anyone.Yesterday, a court in Luxembourg heard that apparently a dispute between the two men can be traced back to February 2003.Eight people, including four children, were in the house when the fire started. All were able to escape or were rescued b the fire brigade services.The court also heard evidence from psychologist Dr Georges Hengesch who said that the accused had an IQ of 71 which shows clearly a limited mental ability.the court also heard that alcohol could have been a contributing factor, and the accused was jailed for 2 months in 2003 for an alcohol-related incident.The public prosecutor has demanded a punishment of 15 years detention due to mitigating circumstances.

Agony Uncle's ASBOs

When I read this story on the Guardian, I could not help wondering whether Malta needs its own ASBO regulation. An ASBO is a recent introduction in England. Basically an ASBO is a legal mechanism used to protect society from anti-social behaviour of specific individuals. The full term is Anti-Social Behaviour Order and it is issued as a warning by a civil court. Breach of an order is a criminal offence and is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years. No kidding.

It would be interesting to see whether ASBO's would change the social fabric of the Maltese islands. Whether they would provoke a multiplicity of cases against neighbours, taxi-drivers and drivers of "karozzi imbaghbsin" (touched up cars). Would we use them wisely? I do not know. I think ASBOs would contribute to a continuing freezing of a society that already does not trust its neighbour, no longer leaves the key in the front door and is engaged in a constant competition with its neighbour.

It would probably mean less letters to the Times complaining about certain behaviours and more lawsuits. More work for the upcoming legal chicks a Profs Cremona (God Rest His Soul) used to call the blue lawyers. Less work for the Agony Uncle and more ASBOs. (Sorry Guz :) )

Speaking of Guze', I must confess that I am a cooking fanatic and having read Guze' I got inspired. Here is a nice recipe for all those of you who can afford to cook with beer (I can too - but only certain American brands). A World Cup Recipe of a German Favourite: Gegrillte Bradwurst. I am sure it would satisfy Guze's criterion of cholesterol levels and the instructions of simmer for 20 minutes should not be complicated for a single guy - not even for one who gets loads of phenomenological thrills from boiling an egg!

Title: Gegrillte Bratwurst (Grilled Bratwurst)
Categories: German
Yield: 6 servings

6 ea Bratwursts 6 ea Peppercorns
12 oz (1 Can) Beer 4 ea Cloves
1 ea Onion; Med., Chopped 6 ea Hard Rolls

Place bratwursts, beer, onion, peppercorns,
and cloves in a 3-quart saucepan.
Simmer for 20 minutes. Drain.
Grill bratwursts 2 to 5 inches
from charcoal about 10 minutes, until browned.
Sprinkle with water to form a crisp skin.
Serve in hard rolls with Dusseldorf-style mustard.
The Recipe was unshamefacedly ripped off a site called Recipesource.

jeudi, mai 18, 2006

Corny Guze' (and beefy too)

Guze' is a blogger no more. His last post fittingly pictures the grave of Elvis Aaron Presley. He is to be congratulated to be the first blogger to have wiggled his way into a column on a Maltese online paper (Guze' not Elvis). The topic of his bi-weekly rant (Guze' sticks to his blogging rate - daily was never his thing) is his aspiration to become Malta's number one agony uncle. So, the place for the first blogger to shift into opinionating on the Maltese media is still vacant. Guze' will limit himself to the life of a single male - I almost typed "single white male" but I am sure that that kind of column would be more fitting for the pages of vivamalta.

Us arabic looking individuals will follow the biweekly column of the thick eyebrowed smoker with interest. I will look forward to his culinary suggestions especially after his first recipe seemed to redeem those cans of corned beef that I so greatly detest. On the other hand the good old Guze' should tell his editors a thing or two about intellectual property. As bloggers we could allow ourselves unattributed borrowing. Aspiring online newspapers should be made of different mettle.

I noticed the illustration of the corned beef on toast in Guze's article and could not help wondering whether Guze posessed such a dainty set of cup and saucer and whether the Maltastar crew had actually set up a photo session to take shots of the corned beef on toast as prepared by Guze'. With a little help from google image search I confirmed my lurid suspicions: the photo was not an original... Guze' the great Agony Uncle had disappointed his fans by picturing a plate orginally served at "Danks Street Depot" in Sydney, Australia and later reported on Pinkcocoa Tabetai a culinary blog. Which is how the pic ended on the net and how it was found later by some Maltastar geek looking up "corned beef on toast" in the image section.

Wicked. I love the net. And I like Guze' notwithstanding the bitter disapopintment that I felt when I discovered that the bread I was looking at was not Maltese but Aussie. Who know's? Maybe Guze is aspiring to a web version of Waltzing Maltilda! Anwyays... do read Guze' he's not half as bad as he seems to be at first sight... and some recipe might come in handy. I suggest that the next one should be my school time favourite - beans and bangers in the oven topped (or sealed) with a layer of potato mash.

Finally a request from "one of the most read Maltese blogs" has reached J'Accuse. Sharon asks me to tell anyone who does not know that the RSS feed to Lost in Thought has changed - which is why you might have thought that she was going the Xemx Wisq Sabiha way. The nnew RSS feed is this: . There's a debate on racism going on there. Though what there is to debate is beyond me... we should be out there booking our lampposts!

As for Guze'... I'm sure he gets the joke so I will not apologise. In truth I'm just lobbying to fill in the other week on Maltastar when Guze is not on... naaaaah!

Addendum: The Copyright Notice on Maltastar (my highlights)
Reproduction for educational purpose is authorised provided the source is acknowledged. In case of commercial purposes, no part of this site could be reproduced in any way or form without the prior written permission of

Information on does not necessarily engage the responsibility of Consultancy & Research Limited or the Malta Labour Party. Where third party copyright is involved, a licence has to be obtained or written permission is otherwise obtained.

(c) Copyright 2006 Consultancy & Research Limited

mercredi, mai 17, 2006

Book Your Lamppost Now

Normal Lowell will have us believe that he is not an advocate of violence. On the vivamalta site (link impossible) the lovers of brethren have posted an announcement that claims that they have never advocated violence. They will add that the violence that we are witnessing is inevitable and will continue to happen whether vivamalta and other intellectually inspired sites exist or not. The violence is inevitable because of the degradation of society and the dark winter of dicontent that our country is witnessing.

But they are not violent. Their logos of thunder and lightning, last used by the stormtroopers of the Waffen SS are just coincidental. They would probably argue that the swastika is a symbol of aryan peace that can still be found on buddhist statues in China and India. They will tell you that although you read hatred and anger in their posts it is not through violence that they want to achieve their means. Saviour Balzan, rightly incensed by the attack on his house openly asked why the police did not raid their last meeting and ask questions. He also clearly points to the fact that their last get together was within 2 km of Daphne's residence and was held on the same night that it was attacked.

But Saviour - these are not violent people. They meet to replicate those great meetings of the Vikings in their halls. Those Norsemen who would imbibe copious amounts of beer and wine and other alcohols prior to embarking on another raid in some village. Only the Vivamalta and Imperium (note the pacifist name - it could have been commonwealth but it is an Empire) will stop short of the raid. Yes Saviour. These are the non-violent prophets of doom. Their weapon is intelligence. they are intelligent enough to note the unrest. They are intelligent enough to pinpoint the source of the unrest. They themselves will not do anything. They will just let the inevitable happen.

Remember interwar Germany. What the Nazis needed was a discontented people (suffering the war punishments), a source of unrest (in this case those eternal immigrants - the Jews) and then bingo... it took no great mind to put a spark to the dry straw that had accumulated. BUT they are non-violent.

I am convinced that vivamalta, imperium europa and normal lowell did not send anyone to drive up to an immigrant from Congo and run him over. Very convinced. And I am not being sarcastic. They are not stupid. No, that work would be the work of some not so very bright individual who falls for the traps constantly baited. He who thinks that running over Mr Mbutu
is the solution to the country's malaise. As I am sure there are other geniuses who think that burning tyres outside people's houses will change the world. The irony of burnt tyres has not hit them. The most common usage of this form of protest happens in the arab countries populated by the people that these savages so wrongly despise.

Lowell's rhetoric does not call for burning michelin or pirelli tyres. He thinks in term of more modern light sources. It is not the first time that he has declaimed "There are not enough lampposts". The reference is clear. Lampposts were used by the Nazi's to hang their enemies in cities. Hanging people from lampposts is the nazi idea of winning an argument. Pure rhetorical genius.

I suggest that we all book our lamppost. Not as a sign of resigned defeat but as a measure of defiance. We take over the lampost as a singular symbol of light that illuminates a dark area on a cold night and creates a small haven of safety on your walk home. The more lampposts we get the more light we can throw. The more lampposts we can collect the less darkness will be allowed to spread.

So do not wait anymore. Book your lamppost... now!


Mondiali a parte, conquistati (oddio, possiamo dirlo?) senza truffe da parte della Nazionale di Lippi, le Coppe Europee possono fare a meno di noi fino al 2007 e noi possiamo fare a meno di coppe e coppine. Questo produrrà un ovvio danno finanziario colossale. Tanto meglio.

Come spero Guido Rossi (ottima scelta) scoprirà dal suo primo giorno come Commissario questo calcio nel suo complesso, finti buoni e veri cattivi, mezze vergini e mignotte complete, utili idioti e astuti maneggioni, non ha bisogno di cerotti e vitamine, ma di una purga da elefante e deve essere lasciato per un anno a spurgare nella sabbia, prima di tornare digeribile. Si sta un anno senza campioni stranieri veri o presunti, se decidono di portare i piedi su un altro prato, perché la bellezza del calcio, a differenza per esempio del tennis o del basket che per attirare pubblico devono essere giocati bene, sta nell'essere uno sport modulare, che può essere apprezzato e giocato benino anche fra atleti di seconda scelta e il resto lo fanno il tifo, la "fedeltà" alla maglietta, il campanilismo.

-Vittorio Zucconi, La Repubblica

mardi, mai 16, 2006

When the crime is rape

Kenneth is angry and disturbed. Disturbed as in miffed not as in mentally insane. I can tell that he is miffed, pissed off and angry because his last post shows clear signs of impatient anger at the quality of some reporting in the Maltese media. What I cannot tell, simply by reading Kenneth's article is whether Kenneth was mentally insane, as in disturbed.

Now before anyone thinks I am going off on one of my insulting modes, I only wrote the above paragraph in order to demonstrate why I think Kenneth's anger is misplaced. My point here is that although J'Accuse has often been on the critical side of the journalistic methods applied in Malta - methods that warrant a couple of investigations by the Maltese Magistratura to find out which "cupola" decides what news is relevant - in this case I believe that I find no wrong in the way the alleged gang rape was reported.

I will spare you the comparisons between the the way the Times, the Independent, l-Orizzont and PBS radio reported the matter. Kenneth has done that here. I will refer directly to Kenneth's quotes to show what I mean so it will be a good idea to pop over at the Repository and read Kenneth's post first.


Now. Kenneth's anger is based on four comparisons which when summed up would say " Why doesn't the Times tell us that three refugees and two illegal immigrants raped two Swedish girls?" and "Why doesn't it mention that the persons under investigation are Somali and Libyan?"

The first, obvious matter that comes to mind is the presumption of innocence. It does not mean that I believe that anyone is innocent or guilty. It means that I am bound by the law that makes us all free to presume that anyone accused is innocent until proven guilty. As such there is no rapist until a court of law declares it so. For all that matters, an equally heinous crime of violent assault could be described as rape by the alleged victim. Both l-Orizzont and PBS are out on a limb if they say that the teenagers were raped. They could say that the Swedish girls allege that they were raped - but not that there has been a rape. No sir. Otherwise we turn all the criminal system topsy turvy. Otherwise the aforesaid journalists might as well be judge and jury.

The second point related to the crime is also related to aggravations. I have no time to fish outt the details from the criminal code. If my memory serves me right, the aggravations to rape could include the time of the offence, weapons used for coercion and other matters that do not, however, include nationality. Neither the nationality of the offender nor that of the victim are any cause of consideration for criminal law. In other words, Somali, Libyan and Swedish, or for what that matters, man from Qormi, Gozo or Sliema are colourful additions for the press and for conspiracy theorists who would want to draw parallel conclusions but they are completely IRRELEVANT for the crime of rape.

Which leaves us to the condition of the girls. L-Orizzont states that they were raped. Now, barring any possibility that the intrepid Orizzont journalist (and hose of the PBS radio) were equipped with the necessary forensic equipment to verify the rape and the physical conditions of the girls, any statement by journalists on rape, scratches, conditions of clothes etc would be completely irrelevant in a court of law. What we have here is a journalist trying to give as much as he or she can on a story and at times overstretching his or her imagination to make it colourful for the reader.

Having said that the rape, if it was a rape is condemnable. The perpetrators, if proven guilty are punishable. I have enough fate in Maltese Criminal law to believe that this will be done. I also have enough hope to believe that the trial will be fair and just when it considers five persons before it as such and that no preconditioned decisions will be made on the basis of race, colour or creed.

The last point goes to Kenneth. I still believe that Kenneth is not a racist. I believe that Kenneth, like many other Maltese , is being conditioned in thinking in these terms by the sad circumstances of our nation's immigration policy. The mishandling of immigrants can have numerous side effects. Thus when they are kept in inhuman conditions and treated like animals I do have hope that our justice system will reflect a system of values that has until now remained silent. A system of values that should be appalled by rapes and inhuuman treatment alike. A system of values that acts swiftly and punishes those responsible for the existence of such acts. I also hope that our justice system will punish all those who have been perpetrating crimes of intimidation and damage to private property.

In that way only will I be proud to be Maltese.

Others: Kinnie & Twistees on racism

Today's news on the Times published the full details of the case in Court. I still stand by what I said above since I was discussing reporting of cases by journalists. In today's article the full details are given - rightly so - because what the journalist is doing here is reporting proceedings in Court. It is different from gratuitous information and descriptions added when the facts are not clear. In the meantime we are also given another article here - this time about an immigrant injure in a "racist attack". Do note the inverted commas in the title - clearly indicating a supposition. Once again we leave it up to the justice system of the island to find the perpetrators, and possibly indicate their motives.

*Picture: Veronese: Lucrezia stabbing herself

lundi, mai 15, 2006

Selecao Announced

Dida (Milan, Ita)
Rogerio Ceni (San Paolo)
Julio Cesar (Inter, Ita)
Cafu (Milan, Ita)
Lucio (Bayern Monaco, Ger)
Cicinho (Real Madrid, Spa)
Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid, Spa)
Gilberto (Hertha Berlino, Ger)
Juan (Bayer Leverkusen, Ger)
Luisao (Benfica, Por)
Cris (Lione, Fra)
Kakà (Milan, Ita)
Gilberto Silva (Arsenal, Ing)
Emerson (Juventus, Ita)
Edmilson (Barcellona, Spa)
Juninho Pernambucano (Lione, Fra)
Zè Roberto (Bayern Monaco, Ger)
Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Spa)
Adriano (Inter, Ita)
Ronaldinho (Barcellona, Spa)
Ricardinho (Corinthians)
Robinho (Real Madrid, Spa)
Fred (Lione, Fra).


Scandalo intercettazioni: spunta anche la Roma
10:23 del 15 maggio

Dalle carte sul calcio sporco, con riferimento ai presunti illeciti della Gea World, spunta il nome della Roma dei Sensi. Nessuna contestazione specifica. Nessuna iscrizione nel registro degli indagati, almeno per ora. Solo una serie di approfondimenti specifici riferibili, indirettamente, ai rapporti d'odio-amore tra i Moggi e la dirigenza della squadra giallorossa. Rapporti che vengono riletti alla luce dei nuovi sviluppi sull'asse giudiziario Roma-Napoli-Torino.

Fra gli spunti meritevoli d'attenzione vi sono le informative, con intercettazioni allegate, che la procura di Roma acquisì alla fine dello scorso anno dalla Guardia di finanza di Livorno sui «rapporti», per l'appunto, tra il presidente Sensi e uno dei capi degli arbitri oggi sotto accusa, Paolo Bergamo. Nelle carte si faceva riferimento a una conversazione (del 2002) in cui Bergamo spiegava a un amico che il presidente della Roma gli avrebbe presentato una lista di cinque arbitri a lui graditi. In cambio lo avrebbe favorito nella stipula di polizze Ina Assitalia (all'epoca sponsor della squadra giallorossa) di cui Bergamo era agente generale nella provincia di Livorno. L'inchiesta è stata archiviata ma l'episodio, marginale rispetto alla maxi-inchiesta sulla Gea, alla luce degli ultimi sviluppi investigativi rischia di tornare prepotentemente d'attualità. Il pm che acquisì gli atti livornesi, Luca Palamara, è del resto lo stesso magistrato che oggi indaga sulla società dei Moggi e che, proprio in questi ultimi giorni, si è trovato davanti a un nuovo spaccato della vicenda, denso di interrogativi e di punti oscuri.

Sarebbero tre le linee guida degli accertamenti:
1. la strana «pace» dopo la guerra tra i Moggi e la famiglia Sensi;
2. l'intercettazione della procura di Napoli su Lucianone in cui si prefigura uno scambio tra «un contratto» per la Roma (quello di Sky o che altro?) e la vendita di Emerson alla Juventus (andata in porto);
3. l'interrogatorio di venerdì scorso dell'ex direttore sportivo giallorosso Franco Baldini, acerrimo «nemico» del sistema-Moggi che a verbale avrebbe confermato tutta una serie di precedenti accuse alla Gea e ai Moggi.

In prima battuta, dunque, c'è la storia tra i Sensi e la Triade. È il 7 luglio del 2004: dopo essersi scambiate cannonate e insulti per anni, Roma e Juventus firmano l'armistizio in Campidoglio davanti all'occhio commosso dello juventino, ma anche neo-romanista, Walter Veltroni, che in precedenza s'era opposto alla vendita della società a un gruppo di magnati russi, creando frizioni con i Sensi. All'appuntamento c'è Antonio Giraudo ma non c'è Franco Sensi, malato. Le veci le fa sua figlia, Rosella, ad della Roma, che al termine dell'incontro pubblicamente confessa di ritenere Moggi «molto bravo».

Sarà un caso ma da quel momento Baldini comincia ad avere problemi in società, anche perché sui giornali circolano le prime indiscrezioni sul «puma» Emerson (stanco di vestire la casacca giallorossa) e su Alessandro Moggi (probabile nuovo direttore sportivo). La Curva Sud e le radio private romane insorgono. Rosella Sensi corre a smentire ma il figlio di Lucky Luciano, al quotidiano Qs, smentisce la smentita:

Sono pronto per la Roma perché ho l'ambizione di fare il dirigente sportivo. Il mercato? Non ci sono molti soldi ma rimedieremo con la “fantasia”. Faremo scambi con Chelsea, Real Madrid e i più grandi club italiani».

In realtà quel mercato - ancora governato da Baldini - è soprattutto in uscita. Capello a sorpresa vola a Torino. Emerson lo segue, poi Zebina. La Roma, invece, non riesce a mettere le mani su Taddei, brasiliano del Siena - società legatissima alla Juve della Triade - che giungerà solo l'anno successivo, a pace fatta. Baldini è spiazzato. Ai microfoni di Radio Radio dice che la vendita di Emerson alla Juve, visto come stavano precipitando le cose, «è andata in porto per limitare i danni e realizzare una opportunità reciproca». Ma si vede che mastica amaro. Tanto che a novembre - dopo la stipula del contratto con Sky che dà ai giallorossi 15 milioni di euro in 5 anni, quattrini che permettono tra l'altro di blindare De Rossi e che fanno dire a Rosella Sensi «finalmente ci hanno trattato come pensiamo di meritare» - rassegna le sue dimissioni. Che vengono congelate da Sensi senior.Il Ds rinvia solo di qualche mese l'uscita. È nella primavera del 2005 quando, di «comune accordo» con la famiglia Sensi e dopo esser passato per l'ufficio indagini della Figc per alcune dichiarazioni pepate sugli arbitri, che Baldini interrompe i rapporti con villa Pacelli. Un addio amaro dopo aver difeso la Roma non solo dagli attacchi di Moggi, ma anche nello scandalo dei Rolex regalati dal presidente agli arbitri per Natale (d'oro ai designatori, d'argento agli altri) e nelle spinosissime vicende delle plusvalenze, dei bilanci, dei passaporti taroccati e delle false fideiussioni. Lascia Baldini perché non è più in sintonia con la strategia societaria.

Ma forse perché anche avvelenato dall'autocandidatura di Alessandro Moggi, e magari anche dalle aspirazioni di Mariano Fabiani, all'epoca ds del Messina e grande amico di Moggi (è uno dei personaggi citati nel dossier sull'arbitro De Santis commissionato dall'Inter) che confessa a Radio Incontro, «alla Roma andrei di corsa». Ipotesi di un cambio che viene confermata dall'ex-presidente dell'Ancona Ermanno Pieroni nel suo recente interrogatorio ai Pm romani dell'inchiesta Gea. Ma torniamo a Sky e veniamo al secondo grande interrogativo su cui lavorano gli inquirenti.

Nelle intercettazioni napoletane, Moggi e Giraudo parlano di quello che sembrerebbe il contratto tv della Roma - o si tratta d'altro? - con accenni tutti da chiarire. Giraudo riferisce della riunione del consiglio federale e racconta come la Mazzoleni (dirigente della Roma) «continua a rompere i coglioni che vogliono fare il contratto delle partite, no? Per il numero delle gare che garantiamo… - continua il dirigente bianconero - allora io ho detto guarda, e gliel'ho fatto dire alla Mazzoleni, noi parlavamo con Baldini per quando ci sono i calendari. E poi gliel'ho detto: guarda che noi non facciamo il contratto se non mettete a posto Emerson, eh?». E ancora. «Bisogna che lei metta a posto Emerson e contestualmente mettiamo a posto il contratto (...)». E Moggi: «Bisogna farlo contestualmente. Quella è gente senza faccia!».

A che si riferivano i due? Quale contratto delle partite sarebbe in ballo? E perché la condizione era che la Roma «mettesse a posto Emerson»? Per gli investigatori a caccia di anomalie sulla Gea è comunque un fatto che i rapporti burrascosi del passato lasciano il passo a intrecci amorosi. Si cercano lumi sul mercato della Roma che, con scarsa liquidità in cassa, riesce ad acquisire nel mercato 2005, poi chiuso dalla Uefa per la vicenda Mexes, non solo Taddei, ma due giocatori a parametro zero come Nonda e Kuffour da tempo nell'orbita dei Moggi. Si valutano i bilanci in profondo rosso improvvisamente colmati non solo dalla vendita di pezzi pregiati della famiglia Sensi, ma anche grazie a quella Capitalia in cui figurano Carraro ma anche e soprattutto Cesare Geronzi, papà di una delle figure di spicco della Gea.

Contestualmente accade che il sindaco Veltroni s'inventi una «cittadella dello sport» giallorossa su un terreno di proprietà dei Sensi a Nord-Ovest della capitale, concedendo alla famiglia di edificare non solo impianti sportivi ma anche palazzine da rivendere al pubblico.

(Il Giornale)


La Rifondazione del Calcio secondo Zucconi (J'Accuse agrees)

1) Riduzione della serie A a 16 squadre, con semifinali e finali per il titolo ed eliminatorie per la retrocessione. Una partita secca, in casa della squadra che ha finito con più punti per incentivare la classfica, secondo il criterio della quarta in casa della prima, la terza in casa della seconda e la finale in campo neutro.

2) Metà della rosa dei giocatori riservata a italiani. Se poi il Mister di turno vuol mettere in campo sempre 11 sudamericani lo faccia, ma alla fine quegli 11 arriveranno arrosto.

3) "Revenue sharing". Distribuzione equa dei diritti televisivi, per dare ai piccoli mercati competitività con i grandi bacini di utenza. Un campionato ha senso se tutti partecipano e possono vincerlo, non se è un duello Juve-Milan con Moratti che porta il tempo con il contrabbasso.

4) "Salary Cap", monte stipendi uguale o molto simile per tutte quelle che accettano la eguale fetta dei diritti, con gravissime penalizzazioni automatiche ai club beccati a fare i furbi con contratti in nero. Nel "giro" queste cose si sanno e dunque sarebbero gli stessi club a controllarsi l'un l'altro, come avviene negli Usa. E se qualche ricco uccello vuol spennarsi per ingaggiare un finto fuoriclasse, lo faccia, ma poi dovrà assumere con il resto della cassa venti Favalli o diciannove Simic per non superare il limite.

5) Abolizione di ogni barriera di sicurezza fra il pubblico e il campo, con responsabilità oggettiva della padrona di casa, senza se e senza ma. I calciatori sarebbero incentivati a non fare scene da vergine violentata a ogni spinta e le società sarebbero costrette a sorvegliare i propri ultras e ad assumersene la responsabilità, sia in casa che in trasferta.

6) "Instant replay" per i gol dubbi, con microcamere sui pali e la traversa e moviola affidata al quarto uomo che ha facoltà di interrompere il gioco, come nell'hockey su ghiaccio. Un gol è un fatto, non un'interpretazione. Moviole per altre fasi sono una idiozia da demagoghi all'amatriciana, perché fermare la partita per ogni mano in area, ogni tuffo carpiato, ogni fuorigioco, ogni spinta, ogni punizione diretta dal limite, ogni corner contestato (e perché no? Quanti gol ormai vengono da calci d'angolo?) vorrebbe dire ammazzare il paziente per salvarlo.

7) Federazione di arbitri professionali autogestita e interamente autonoma che designi i direttori delle gare e periodicamente riveda il loro operato e, in caso di insistita inadeguatezza di un proprio arbitro, sanzioni, fino al licenziamento, come avviene per gli allenatori.

8) Lega Calcio diretta da un "commissioner", a un amministratore delegato, commissario, presidente, lo si chiami come si vuole con poteri chiari e forti, estraneo ai club, in totale autonomia dalle 42 società professionistiche con contratto di ferro per imporre le misure e le punizioni che giudica necessarie, applicando, orrore!, regolamenti e leggi. Mai più assurdità come il caso Galliani, che resta ancora serenamente imbullonato al timone del relitto.

9) Nessun intervento dello Stato, in nessun caso, per nessun ricatto, per nessun motivo, volto a salvare club dalla disonestà o incompetenza o ingordigia o pura pirlaggine di presidenti. Se qualche ultras minaccia di prendere a sassate una sede in caso di fallimento o retrocessioni, si affronti il caso per quello che è, un caso di ordine pubblico minacciato da delinquenti con l'alibi della "passione" calcistica.

10) (Clausola facoltativa ma utile) Esilio in piccole emittenti locali nelle Tundra a est degli Urali o sulle montagne dell'Atlante in Nord Africa con obbligo di prestazione in miniera o mungitura di cammelle per tutti i buffoni che compaiono in trasmissioni tv soltanto, ripeto, soltanto allo scopo di far casino e strappare l'applauso precotto, ignorando che le loro sceneggiate, tutte concluse in trattoria a ridere fra di loro di quei pirla con la sciarpina che li prendono sul serio, vengono prese sul serio dai pirla con la sciarpina.

Poi riparliamo di calcio professionistico in Italia e di serie A.

source: Repubblica.It

Campioni d'Italia*

*After having carefully read all that there is to read and heard all that there is to hear we can definitively assert that this year's scudetto is ours and consequently La Vecchia (Malata) Signora is officially Campione d'Italia.

What does this mean? It means that on the pitch, it can be acknowledged that Champions like Buffon, Thuram, Cannavaro, Kovac, Pessotto, Chimenti, Balzaretti, Zebina, Vieira, Emerson, Nedved, Camoranesi, Blasi, Mutu, Ibrahimovic, Trezeguet, Del Piero and others. played a wonderful Campionato in style and garnered a breath-taking 91 points. 9 short of a century. They started the campionato the way they finished it - at the top and there seems to be nothing available to tarnish the scudetto 2005-2006.

Off the pitch it will be another story. On the basis of what has been seen and read the previous year is tainted with stupid dealings by stupid men (with hindsight). They formed part of a system. A system which some detractors would like to attribute to Juventus and Juventus alone - and which others would see more widely as a cancer of Italian football at which Juventus (sadly this time but once again) was the best. The proof available relates to last year's scudetto (numerically number 28) and not to this one.

The effects of last year's events will most definitely be a removal of the scudetto. According to Italian sports law, last year's scudetto will be revoked and not awarded. Tant pis for Signor Berluska who tried to win off the pitch what he seems to have lost on the pitch (with some help off it). The involvement of the various teams in last years events will probably result in penalties that will affect this year's results. As a consequence, this scudetto which, I repeat, Juventus deservedly won on the pitch without any assistance (assistance that many supporters doubted was ever needed) will probably be lost. Through a multiplicity of docking of points for teams involved (Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina) teams that struggled to show some kind of overall form over the full stretch of the league will suddenly find themselves gifted with some goodies. Sic transict gloria calci.

The same teams will cry for justice and that finally retribution is being had. Sadly they too know that their close shave with justice happened when the cancer was still inbuilt. The remedies at the time where minor and certain evident, glaring injustices were never remedied. To me the most glaring of unremedied injustices remains the fideiussioni false of Rigetta. For two successive years the giallozozzi presented false guarantees to start the season. Other teams (Napoli above all) were severely punished for such minor misdemeanors (true, compared to locking referees in their chaning room or to fixing referee sheets). In the Rigetta case they were slapped on the hand. ONLY to repeat the same error the next year (and claim ignorance - the only true defence in their case). This is to be added to the feeble attempt by Rigetta Padrino Sensi to start his own Cupolone (or should it be Cuppolone?) with some timely presents to the refereeing class - the Rolex affair. Do you remember any scandal? Do you remember any calls for Rometta in Serie B? OF course not. But then Rometta are not La Vecchia Signora. By far.

So to recapitulate, as a supporter I believe that this year's scudetto is merited. It will be removed. But not for what Juventus has done this year. It will be removed as a result of the harsh, deserved penalties that will be inflicted for the sickly events of 2004-2005. As a supporter I know that in my heart Juventus will have 28 scudetti. In truth we will probably have to start again from 27.

The detractors will do their best to pour doubt on all other achievements Juventus has had in its star studded history. Look out for these sorry individuals. They are those that build their world on suppositions. They are those of the irreconcilable logic. They are those who would have us believe that everything that has happened in the era of the Triade is tricked. Granting the Triade two years time to set up its so-called Cupola (I do not think it could have happened overnight) we could say that the following years are tainted:

1998 Milan Champions, Lazio Second
1999 Lazio Champions, Juve
2000 Roma Champions, Juve
2001 Juventus Champions, Roma
2002 Juventus Champions, Inter
2003 Milan Champions, Roma
2004 Juventus Champions, Milan
2005 Juventus Champions, Milan

So, are we also to assume that Lazio and Roma are in the incucio? If the mud slinging match is based on the assumption that the cancer was always present with Moggi then, surely, by that way of reasoning someone should explain why Rolex United also won a title during the period. That same Rolex United that shortly before the scandal exploded was strongly linked to Alessandro Moggi (given as new d.s. for Rometta) and to constant doting on the Moggi Padrino himself.

In all honesty I think all mud slinging should be stopped. Juventus should pay its dues for allowing Moggi and Giraudo to speak as they spoke and to act as they acted. That is a fact. But the recent analysis of Italian football clearly points to a sick system in which very few can claim saintliness. I for one feel empathy for people like Mazzone and the ex-Bologna President for a sour relegation in a year that was evidently a difficult one to survive. I feel less empathy for Mancini, the Inter coach who must be thanking his lucky stars for this crisis - at every interview he smirks and shreds off all responsibility for the band of mercenaries he has put together. It's no longer their fault - no no it is Moggi's fault. It is Moggi who inspires Materazzi's auto-goal wonders, it is Moggi who causes the "inguardabile" against Villareal and most of all Mancini, it is Moggi who is behind the moves to install Mancini at the helm of Inter's merry band - that way they are guaranteed to remain (with Rigetta) in the realm of the eternal perdenti.

As for Juve I look forward to a new era.

I look forward to adding new trophies to the Palmares (Serie B is probably the only trophy still missing from their glorious cabinet - sour grapes but hey, I am a supporter). In the meantime I look forward to siding for Palermo next year while watching a Rigetta plucked into the Champsion league by its hairs go ahead and make the usual mess of it.

In two years time I look forward even more to facing all the usual suspects again. This time round they will have no excuses or conspiracy theories to hang on to when the black and white army gives their asses a good whipping once again.

Campioni d'Italia eh eh oh oh!

post scrotum: Just noticed that on Wikipedia, the Albo D'Oro of the Champions of Italy includes the following entry: Torino 7 (+1 revocato) - wicked... we still get to see the revocati on the list... then it just depends whose side you are on!!!

samedi, mai 13, 2006

Saturday News Roundup

Spotlight on today's news. Starting with our beloved government. It makes me laugh. Constantly. The next great achievement of the men in power will be that "Gozo will stay whole". Thankfully the beloved homeland will not be blown into smithereens. It will stay as one. Great. Sadly the 'achievement' is simply the government going back on its steps of creating a two-district Gozo. A better title to the article would have been "Idiots admit to getting it wrong". But then we would not have been sure whether it referred to the MPs or the journalists from Strickland House.

Ambiguity is lovely. So is the idea that the government wants to build wind farms. I could not help wondering weather farming the wind that gets generated within parliament would not be more beneficial to the islands. I mean nowadays they use the heat generated from compost, cows fats and I don't know what else. If we found a way to control all the energy and wind that is expended by politicians and journalists we'd be selling energy to Dubya. Unfortunately if the whole energy garnering thingy was possible it would also be true that Dubya would be prime producer.

Marshall was right about Maltese film viewers. They seem to have been duped into buying an advance verision of the Da Vinci ilm. They are falling for a Frenchie documentary about the whole hullaballoo that probably concludes that Jeezus Christ is the son of Jacques Rene'... not mine... Chirac's.

Finally slap on the back for Floriana who conjured up three goals to make up for their earlier deficits and thus safeguard their Premier League Status. Darn... is it just Juve that is going down?

I'm off to Metz. Will be back in Lux tomorrow to watch the surreal possibility of Juve winning a scudetto that will never be theirs. I can't wait... for the mundial to begin!

Si ricomincera' da qui....

let's just hope everything get's cleaned
arbitri - guardalinee - moviolisti - giornalisti
rolex - fideiussioni - passaporti falsi
presidenza lega - designatori arbitrali

Serie A team to follow next year - Palermo
Serie B - La Nuova Juventus

vendredi, mai 12, 2006

Bobo Moggi

La canea mediatica contro Luciano Moggi e il sistema del calcio italiano ha molte cose in comune con quanto è successo nel biennio 1992-93. Ieri è stato indagato Antonio Giraudo per falso in bilancio. Si apprende di vertici tra diverse procure della Repubblica durante i quali i magistrati si scambiano intercettazioni e notizie. Giornalisti compiacenti e gongolanti preannunciano ulteriori avvisi di garanzia e ipotizzano nuovi filoni di inchiesta. Marco Travaglio scatenato, Giuseppe D’Avanzo bacchetta quei magistrati di Torino che si sono permessi di archiviare senza chiedergli il permesso.

Le inchieste intorno al Moggi world si moltiplicano. Una coinvolge la mafia russa per l’acquisto di un portiere ucraino girato alla Salernitana, come le indimenticate inchieste “cheque to cheque” di Torre Annunziata (indagati: Vladimir Zhirinovsky, l’arcivescovo di Barcellona e Licio Gelli) e “phoney money” di Aosta (con testimoni che coinvolgevano capi di stato come Bill Clinton, uomini dei servizi, Lorenzo Necci, Fini, Maroni, Bossi, Berlusconi, Tatarella). Non ci fosse di mezzo questa fastidiosa questione del Quirinale e poi l’impiccio della formazione del governo, avremmo i giornali impegnati in azioni di geometrica potenza contro Moggi, ancora più di quanto fanno già, con gli stessi toni e gli stessi argomenti di quel biennio giustizialista in cui con il petto in fuori ci hanno spiegato che per un cinquantennio la Dc ha vinto le elezioni perché associata alla sede di Corleone della Gea e che il Psi era un’associazione a delinquere finalizzata alle tangenti.

L’assoluzione giudiziaria e politica non arriverà da un Appello, dalla Cassazione o da un convegno di Italianieuropei, ad anni di distanza dalle monetine e della gogna. Al contrario c’è già stata, anzi è proprio sulla base di questa archiviazione giudiziaria che si sono conosciuti gli elementi che hanno fatto scatenare i soliti mozzorecchi, stavolta coadiuvati da coloro che interpretano la parola “garantista” come se fosse una crasi tra “garanzie” e “romanista” (o “interista”). Il grande romanzo di Moggi infatti è scritto nella richiesta di archiviazione del pm di Torino, Marcello Maddalena, in cui, nero su bianco, si legge che non c’è “uno straccio di notizia” che consenta di continuare le indagini.

Si tratta di una richiesta di archiviazione che proviene dalla stessa procura della Repubblica che fino a pochi mesi fa ha inscenato un processo per doping alla Juventus, uscendone sconfitta e con l’assoluzione piena dei dirigenti, dei medici e dei calciatori della Juve.

Scoppiato lo scandalo delle intercettazioni, che penalmente scandalo non è, si è avuta notizia di altre inchieste giudiziarie, a Napoli e a Torino, non sulla Juventus (anzi ieri Tuttosport ha scritto che nelle nuove intercettazioni napoletane ci sarebbero dirigenti di tutte le grandi squadre italiane), ma sulla società di procuratori Gea e sui suoi metodi di gestione dei calciatori e degli allenatori. Uno dei soci è Alessandro Moggi, il figlio di Luciano, ma anche i rampolli di altri proprietari di squadre di serie A. Da qui il processo mediatico all’intero sistema Moggi intorno al quale ruota il calcio di oggi.

Il caso Moggi è giudiziario, sportivo e politico.
Stiamo parlando di un dirigente unanimemente riconosciuto come il signore del calcio italiano, assunto alla Juventus dieci anni fa per volere di Umberto Agnelli e del suo fido Antonio Giraudo. Fino a ieri l’altro i suoi successi erano così osannati che risultava difficile trovare cronista sportivo o dirigente calcistico che non si prostrasse ai suoi piedi, che non lodasse le fastidiose bugie che raccontava, che non si sbellicasse innanzi alle sue infelici battute. E’ noto alle cronache, per dire, come Massimo Moratti abbia tentato in mille modi di strappare Moggi alla Juventus, probabilmente memore dei successi del padre Angelo alle cui dipendenze lavorava il Moggi degli anni Sessanta, quell’Italo Allodi per il quale – nel suo periodo all’Inter – fu coniata l’espressione “sudditanza psicologica degli arbitri”. Moggi, di recente, è stato ricevuto da Silvio Berlusconi. Il Milan vorrebbe Giraudo e l’uomo del Cav. al Milan, Adriano Galliani, non ha mai nascosto, anche in questi giorni, la sua stima e la sua amicizia per “Antonio e Luciano”. Eppure oggi tra i giornalisti e i dirigenti sportivi pare che non ci sia più nessun amico di Moggi, neanche tra i proprietari della Juventus.

Cesare Romiti, in un’ampia intervista alla Gazzetta della Sport, giornale che è diventato la centrale del torquemadismo da curva sud, ha preso le distanze dalla triade Moggi-Giraudo-Bettega, spiegando che quei tre non c’entrano niente con lo stile Agnelli, dimenticandosi di ricordare che la triade è stata scelta, coccolata e difesa da Umberto Agnelli non dallo Spirito Santo. E’ vero, però, che a Gianni e poi agli eredi Elkann i tre dirigenti non siano mai piaciuti, probabilmente perché i loro metodi li costringevano a restare fuori dalla gestione della società. Ma finché hanno vinto erano tutti contenti e nessuno della Famiglia ha
mai osato contestare la competenza calcistica di Moggi, grazie alla quale quei successi sono arrivati, peraltro senza che la casa madre spendesse una lira.

Eppure Moggi & Co. sono stati scaricati alla prima bufera giudiziaria che ha messo in piazza il loro sistema di amicizie e intrallazzi. Giampiero Mughini ha ricordato come il modo sprezzante con cui l’ingrata famiglia Agnelli-Elkann ha liquidato la triade gli avesse ricordato il goffo tentativo di Claudio Martelli di voler “restituire l’onore ai socialisti” in seguito alla caduta di Bettino Craxi. Martelli era uno che doveva tutto a Craxi e al suo sistema di potere, era addirittura l’unico cui era consentito aprire il frigorifero di casa Craxi. La Juventus di questi dieci anni – squadra, allenatori, trofei e proprietà – è difficilmente scindibile dalla sua dirigenza, esattamente come nel 1993 era comico immaginare uno di quei dirigenti del Psi impegnato a “restituire l’onore ai socialisti”.

I modi di Luciano Moggi e dell’intero sistema del calcio italiano sono eticamente riprovevoli, come dimostrano gli imbrogli finanziari compiuti da mezza serie A (Juventus finora esclusa) e qualsiasi puntata del Processo del lunedì. Tra dirigenti e arbitri non ci dovrebbero essere rapporti né si dovrebbe abusare della propria posizione dominante nella gestione dei tesserati.

Il sistema Moggi va radicalmente cambiato,a patto che non si spari solo sul primus inter pares. Fossi in Moggi prenderei il discorso che Craxi pronunciò alla Camera dei deputati il 3 luglio del 1992. Allora il leader socialista ricordò i meccanismi del sistema e disse che “se gran parte di questa materia deve essere considerata materia puramente criminale, allora gran parte del sistema sarebbe un sistema criminale”. E aggiunse: “Non credo che ci sia nessuno in quest’aula, responsabile politico di organizzazioniimportanti, che possa alzarsi e pronunciare un giuramento in senso contrario a quanto affermo”.

Non si alzò nessuno allora, non si alzerebbe nessuno ora.

source: il Foglio

Ieri, Moggi e Domani

Roma. Prima che scoppi, il calcio si prende in giro da solo. Arriverà l’unica condanna che si aspetta per zittire i forcaioli e lasciare il pallone rotolare come sempre. E arrostire al sole di un sole equivoco: velato e poco sincero, ma forte sulla pelle fino a bruciarla. La scoperta di questi giorni è che il calcio è un affare. Lo sapevano tutti, ora si stupiscono: si chiedono perché e percome ci fossero dirigenti di una grande squadra con amicizie in Federazione e all’Associazione arbitri. Non si danno pace e chiedono di cambiare tutto.

Di trovare un Arbitro per sistemare gli arbitri. Con i telefonini spenti, per non essere fraintesi, le teste pensanti del pallone non toccate dalle intercettazioni e dalle battute da osteria hanno preso una decisione: al posto di Pierluigi Pairetto, all’Uefa il nuovo rappresentante è Pierluigi Collina. Cioè il miglior arbitro della storia d’Italia, il più apprezzato, il più conosciuto. Una scelta di garanzia. E’ vero, però è la stessa persona che il calcio ha fatto fuori perché da arbitro aveva uno sponsor, lo stesso di una squadra importante e allora non era opportuno tenerlo in gioco. Adesso Collina va bene, perché le telefonate registrate e lo scandalo hanno fatto tornare in voga i fan del professionista arbitrale, quello che se viene pagato per quanto vale, se può avere uno sponsor suo, se può campare del pallone, non ha bisogno di farsi comprare.

E’ qui che si prende in giro il mondo del pallone: vive nell’illusione che la questione morale sia legata alla decisione tra professionismo e dilettantismo. Ogni volta che succede qualcosa si oscilla tra una parte e l’altra. Allora: s’indaga sul doping e spunta la teoria che “il calcio dovrebbe tornare ai veri valori dello sport”. Poi l’Italia viene fatta fuori dalla Champions League e cambia tutto: “Bisogna accelerare sul professionismo. Le squadre devono essere più competitive, delle aziende complete, devono studiare strategie, fare lobby, pressare le istituzioni”.

I due esempi (diversi) della Gea e del Chievo
Luciano Moggi avrebbe fatto pressioni sul designatore Pairetto, il quale avrebbe fatto pressioni su una serie di arbitri. L’idea che se Pairetto fosse stato un professionista del pallone non si sarebbe lasciato prendere dalla tentazione non regge. Primo perché Pairetto guadagnava come un professionista e di fatto svolgeva il ruolo di designatore arbitrale a tempo pieno. Secondo perché non è detto che, se avesse guadagnato milioni di euro, non avrebbe accettato di piegarsi alle iniziative di un dirigente di una squadra. Ammesso che poi sia successo.

Il problema del calcio è lo stesso che ha la politica del dopo Tangentopoli: se funzionano di più i dilettanti, quelli che arrivano da altri mondi, gente di successo nelle imprese, nello spettacolo, nella cultura che decide di provare l’avventura politica, o se il Parlamento e il governo debba essere fatto di politici di professione: esperti nell’arte della mediazione o dell’attacco e ipoteticamente incapaci di svolgere una professione altra dal cazzeggio in Transatlantico. Visto che la politica non si è decisa, non lo fa neppure il mondo del pallone. Ora sono tutti grandi censori della Gea, la società di procura sportiva dei figli di papà: Alessandro Moggi, Chiara Geronzi, Giuseppe De Mita, Francesca Tanzi, Riccardo Talleri. Si scandalizzano al pensiero che in mano alla Gea ci fossero tanti giocatori e allenatori. Ma nessuno ha pensato che quella società era l’espressione massima del professionismo che il sistema insegue: trova la squadra che paga di più il suo assistito, media per lui nelle operazioni di mercato, gli fornisce uno sponsor personale, crea il contatto per uno spot. Le denunce di questi giorni raccontano metodi di gestione della società oltre ogni limite: se sarà accertato, la Gea sparirà. Il problema è che sparirà anche in caso quelle denunce siano balle. Succederà in nome e per conto della teoria del calcio come gioco, senza pressioni, senza interessi personali. Dicono sia colpa dei procuratori se i ragazzini che giocano nelle squadrette di borgata o di paese diventano avidi e smaniosi di arrivare.

E’ un’altra ipocrisia: i procuratori hanno avuto un potere crescente perché i giocatori – anche i bambini appena cresciuti – gliel’hanno chiesto e perché i club volevano gestirsi come aziende. Però visto che il prodotto era il risultato di una prestazione di un gruppo di calciatori, questi hanno alzato il prezzo. Normale dinamica aziendale, spacciata come scandalo non appena qualcuno è andato fuori giri. Ennesima dimostrazione che il gioco di rincorrersi tra dilettantismo e professionismo è il miglior modo per lasciare tutto com’è.
Federazione e Lega si comportano allo stesso modo. Invocano manager in grado di gestire l’“industria pallone” come una multinazionale, ma poi non li vogliono perché nello sport non si possono applicare le tecniche economico-finanziarie. Allontanati quelli che potrebbero aiutare il calcio perché estranei, i professionisti del pallone combattono tra loro. Poi, però, la gran parte delle squadre ogni estate non ce la fa a iscriversi, allora si chiede aiuto alla politica. Un nuovo decreto salva-calcio per certificare che i club sono aziende, ma i loro dirigenti non sono manager.

Nel ’79, il Perugia voleva comprare Paolo Rossi: il presidente era Franco D’Attoma, comproprietario della ditta di abbigliamento sportivo Ellesse. D’Attoma non aveva i soldi per prendere Rossi, si fece aiutare dalla famiglia Ponte, che attraverso un pastificio aveva fatto miliardi. I Ponte in cambio chiesero di diventare sponsor della squadra. Ma all’epoca gli sponsor erano vietati: la Figc minacciò multe, la Ellesse s’inventò una linea di maglie nuova, la linea Ponte, che aveva lo stesso logo del pastificio. Aggirata la norma, senza multe e senza sanzioni. La Federazione da allora aprì alle sponsorizzazioni e oggi pretende che le squadre facciano un passo indietro. “Bisogna tornare ai valori veri dello sport”. Si fanno esempi, come il Chievo, che è una squadra simpatica, ma è anche un grande supermarket, dove i calciatori vengono acquistati per essere rivenduti e dove il proprietario si è autosponsorizzato per trarre un vantaggio per la sua azienda di dolciumi.

Campedelli ha fatto bene. Così come ha fatto bene Zamparini che s’è comprato il Palermo quasi a zero, c’ha investito fino a farlo tornare a essere un club che conta e in più ha aumentato la presenza in Sicilia dei suoi ipermercati. Cioè fa giustamente affari attraverso il pallone, ma poi si pone come garante della vera etica sportiva, come capofila dei piccoli club che si contrappongono allo strapotere delle grandi che invece vorrebbero la Superlega. Se la suonano e se la cantano da soli.

Attaccano Moggi ora. Ci risiamo: si prendono in giro da soli. Cercano soluzioni prima che si capisca bene che cosa succederà nei prossimi giorni, quando magari questo scandalo sarà superato da uno più grande, tipo un altro calcioscommesse. Nel frattempo Franco Carraro si è dimesso, alla Figc tocca ad Abete. Ma il mondo del pallone ha già deciso il dopo. Vuole Gianni Rivera: perché è stato un grande uomo di calcio che è uscito dal calcio. Sì, è un professionista del calcio che è entrato in politica come dilettante, poi è diventato un professionista della politica e vuole rientrare nel calcio da dilettante.

source: Il Foglio