*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!!!