mardi, juillet 18, 2006

Pas de Soldes

It's sales season in Luxembourg and France and it would seem that many football teams are hoping that the best sales will be in Italy... more particularly in Turin. Previous summers would rarely see footballers - particularly Italian ones - leaving the peninsula for other pastures. Foreign teams did not want the mammoni and they had this rare inability to settle in a land far from mamma, pizza and pasta.

Calciopoli has changed the rules of the game and has divided the international market into two camps. On the one side there are the vultures - those who without any scruples swoop down on the teams currently embroiled by the matter and try to force a bargain sale. On the other hand are the purists - those who are disgusted by this kind of mercenary activity that also exposes another ugly side of "football since the Champions League".

For the fact of the matter is that the Rumenigges and (I never thought I'd say this) Wenger's of this world are right. It is immoral and disgusting for a team to take advantage of another teams woes. This is not to say that they should not be trying to buy the player who does not wish to stay in Serie B for one or two seasons. Rather, it is the attempts at cutting the price that are unshamefaced and verging on the unethical.

These vultures know that any bargain purchase will drive another knife into the already harshly punished teams by pushing them further on the brink of ruin. They know that had they been in the same place (and some of them like the glorious Real Madrid have been - only to be saved by a King with endless pockets - everyone would love to be bankrupt one year and spend a world record transfer fee on Zidane the next) they would be screaming with the same amount of indignation as Cobolli Gigli is doing now.

The punishment is still not settled. Everybody except Procuratore Palazzi and the wishy washy supporters of loser teams who can only hope to win by gettng the great out of the way seem to think that Juve, Fiorentina, Lazio and Milan deserved more not less in terms of punishment. I was surprised by the decision. In legal terms the same burden of proof and the same measure found Juve guilty of playing with two matches, Fiorentina one, Lazio one and Milan one. It is impossible to ask any reader (especially supporter of loser teams described above) to read the decision objectively but in legal terms the distance between what the court found as being proven and the punishment is immense.

Some might oppose that the burden of proof is different in sports law. True. But it is under that very burden of proof that the results were found. And the distance between those results and the punishment is abysmal. Especially relatively speaking - between the teams punished. I await the appeal with confidence. In the meantime I hope that any deals for sales being trumpeted will really be loan deals (ohlom). More than that I really really hope that Dudchester United and Real Dudrid have a really really bad season next year... a bit like the one we are used to seeing Rigetta perform year in year out.

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