By twhalliii | THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall July 14, 2006 at 8:15AM
No, not like THAT.
Juventus, The 'Old Lady' of Italian Football (la Vecchia Signora), has been relegated to the Italian Second Division, (Serie B) along with Fiorentina and Lazio, for their roles in the Italian match fixing scandal. All three clubs will carry massive points deductions as well, leaving it likely that all three will struggle to return to the Serie A in a single season. AC Milan, the fourth club involved, will stay in Serie A but have been docked points for the coming season, and all four clubs will lose their Champions League spots.
"Several officials have also been hit hard following the verdict in the match-fixing scandal which arose after allegations that Juventus tried to arrange the appointment of referees. Former Juve general manager Luciano Moggi has been banned from the game for five years - the same penalty meted out to Antonio Giraudo. Ex-Italian Football Federation president Franco Carraro has been suspended for four years and six months - the same length of time which referee Massimo De Sanctis has been banned for. Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has been banned for 12 months, Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle for four years and Lazio supremo Claudio Lotito for three years. The scandal has rocked Italian football and has taken the gloss off the national team's recent World Cup victory, with some having called for leniency. But Italian Federation Commission judge Cesare Ruperto has come down hard on the clubs involved, with the punishments possibly seeing a mass exodus from those concerned."
Relegated: Juve Fans March In Support Of The Club Prior To The Judge's Decision (AP Photo)
Juventus to Serie B (-30pts)
Lazio to Serie B (-7pts)
Fiorentina to Serie B (-15pts)
Milan in Serie A (-15pts)
I can't say I am surprised. While Italy have spent the week basking in the glory of their World Cup victory, it is now time for this league to pay for the cheating and match fixing that has taken place the last two years. A disgrace. It is hard for a Liverpool supporter to not feel for Juventus supporters at this time, as the clubs have a long, difficult history that was slowly on the mend, but I have no pity for the club's management, the referees, and the people responsible for match fixing. They have let their supporters down in the worst possible way, invalidating all of the glories that the side had accomplished in the past couple of years, including winning the Scudetto twice. Those titles will now be given to Inter Milan, I assume.
Of course, the clubs having been relegated, it's now open season on the players who are on the relegated teams. It looks like Canavarro will end up with Real Madird (and maybe Zambrotta as well), but what about players like Luca Toni, Gianluigi Buffon, Patrick Viera, Alessandro Del Piero or David Trezeguet? Personally, I would love to see David Trezeguet in the red of Liverpool. So many players, its like going on a shopping spree in Italy! Come Rick Parry, bring Trezeguet to Anfield!
He'd Look Good In Red: Juventus Forward David Trezeguet
Joking aside*, it is a sad day for Italian football and for all football supporters. I wish the best to the supporters of these clubs and hope that they return to the top flight soon, with their dignity restored.
*Although, I am not joking about Trezeguet coming to Liverpool. I'd be thrilled!