Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Hangover After The Party

Considering that the World Cup final didn't end until almost 11 p.m. local time in Italy, I'm sure they have been partying like absolute rockstars since then. As an aside, I would love to know what the absentee rate of Italian workers was yesterday - 50%, 70%, higher? Did the government call off work and declare a national holiday?

Anyhow, I hope that they are living it up as much as humanely possible, because the hangover is coming. The ruling on the match fixing/betting/corruption scandal was supposed to be handed down yesterday, but it has been delayed a few days. I can only assume that this was to allow the arbiters to get properly drunk and sing and dance their asses off with everyone else. Now they are saying the ruling should come sometime between today and Thursday.

Since I am going out of town tonight I just wanted to go on record with my predictions. Although there has been significant chatter in the Italian press about blanket amnesty becuase Italy won the World Cup, I don't think that this will happen. On the other hand, I don't believe for 1 second that Juventus will really be relegated to Serie C, let alone Serie B. Any other club but Juve or Milan I believe would get relegated for doing what Juve did, but these two are just too damn powerful - I just don't see it happening, considering the insane power of the club (both actually) in addition that millions and millions of dollars of television and marketing/sponsorship agreements would be affected, both league wide and club specific, and would have to be competely thrown out and re-done. Hell, damn near every Italian sesaon is threatened with delay until the 11th hour becasue they can't get the TV contract sorted out, and that is when everything is going well! Anyways, I'll be Rooneh (read: "gobsmacked") if Juve really get sent down.

Here is my prediction:

Juventus: Will be stripped of the last 2 scudetto titles, but they will not be awarded to anyone else, like an NCAA basketball team having to "vacate" a Final 4 appearance i.e. UMass 1996 or Minnesota 1997. They will be banned from participating in the Champions League for 1-3 years, and the will be on super double secret probation for a while as well.

AC Milan: Perhaps a CL ban for 1 year, and super double secret probation as well.

Fiorentina: Same as Milan.

Lazio: Same as Milan.

Additionally they may cut back their respective shares from TV contracts for 1-3 years.

So that's my guess. Basically, glorified slaps on the wrist all around, which would be extremely disappointing except that seeing some of the smaller Italian clubs get the Champions League spots would be interesting I guess.

What do you think?


A7 said...

Too much influence from Juve and Milan to leave top flight so the other two would stay in top flight as well. Hand slaps all around and 2 years of title removal but nothing more than that within the Serie A. Champions League bans for the four. Juve should get the most severe judgement but in essence it really doesn't affect the race for the scudetto again next year. Really will be a joke decision and the talk of blanket amnesty is just a weak attempt at humor. None of the teams will have to earn any respect back because they stay put. what a joke it will be!

Kanu said...


Agreed. I did think it was pretty epic a couple of weeks back when Inter came out in a press conference and demanded the Scudetto title be awarded to them for being the highest ranked team not involved even though they finished a full 10 pts behind Juve.

Oh, and the WC is over my friend. You can revert back to A10 now Senor Adriano.