Thursday, July 20, 2006

What's The Italian Word For "Wrong"?

It's already old news but I was definitely wrong about the punishments in the Italian soccer scandal. Here is how it broke down:

Juventus: stripped of their last two league titles, not allowed to participate in the Champions League this year, relegated to Serie B, and given a 30 point deduction for the upcoming season.

Fiorentina: not allowed to participate in the Champions League this year, relegated to Serie B, and given a 12 point deduction for the upcoming season.

Lazio: not allowed to participate in the Champions League this year, relegated to Serie B, and given a 7 point deduction for the upcoming season.

AC Milan: not allowed to participate in the Champions League this year, and given a 15 point deduction for the upcoming season.

In short, Juve are fucked. Estimates have them immediately losing 50% of their revenue (TV money, sponsorships), and despite being Italy's most popular club, thier mysteriously poor attendance means that ticket revenue won't do much to help things out. The 30 point deduction basically means that they will be in Serie B for 2 seasons; it would be quite an accomplishment for them to finish in the top 3 of Serie B to gain promotion given that they are starting the season with -30 points, especially considering that many of their star players will be sold off (Cannavaro and Emerson have already been moved to Real Madrid, and more are sure to follow). So it will probably be 3 years before they are back to Serie A and then they would have to finish in the top 4 to get into the Champions League for 2009-2010. So it is a long, long road back for them.

PV4 will probably leave Juve; rumors
have him going to ManUtd or Inter.

Fiorentina and Lazio start the Serie B season with -12 and -7 points respectively, so it seems like they have a good chance to finish in the top 3 and gain promotion back to Serie A next year. Much will depend on how many 0f their players they are able to retain.

AC Milan got off the easiest of the 3, which isn't much of a suprise given their immense power and connections. However, starting the Serie A season with -15 points means that a top 4 finish to qualify for the Champions League for 2007-2008 will be extrememly difficult task.

So your 4 Italian participants in the Champions League this year are Inter Milan, Roma, Chievo, and Palermo.

Of course all of the clubs are appealing their punishments; mostly they are trying to get the point deductions lessened or removed.

Interesting commentary on this as well as Lippi retiring as Italy's national team coach here.


Anonymous said...

The reason for the bad attendance at Delle Alpi is not a mystery: it's a dump. Yeah it was a venue for Italia90, but there's a track around the pitch, the place is plagued with terrible sight-lines, and it's a completely soul-less concrete donut.

It's the Veterans Stadium of European football. Would you want to go there?

I'm still confused/pissed that Milan didn't get send down with the rest of them. Whatever.

As for Juventus getting to Serie A next year, don't be too surprised. Fiorentina got promoted up to Serie B a while back straight from Serie C2 (where they finished 2nd the season before!) Hey, if the 2nd place finisher in Serie C2 can get promoted up to Serie B, Juventus can go up to Serie A, no matter where they finish in Serie B. Gotta love the Italians.

Now that Cannavaro is here... where's Kaka and Fabregas? :p

Actually, there's a rumour that Arsenal and Real are talking about a Fabregas for Robinho + Julio Baptista. What do you think of that? I'd give up hope on the new President of RM if that happens.

Anonymous said...

Oh, speaking of Delle Alpi. This relegation couldn't have happened at a worse time for Juventus. Juventus was supposed to break grounds on their new stadium this past May that would be a state of art stadium fitting of Juventus. The amount of investment into this project makes Juventus especially vulnerable financially. Imagine if Arsenal were suddenly relegated due to scandal this past year.

Of course, there's still the Agnelli's, so Juventus isn't in any real danger of bankruptcy, nevertheless.

Kanu said...

Yeah, that article that I linked to about Del Alpi by Amy Lawrence pinned it on the stadium being shit, and also mentioned the currrent project to bring it down from 67,000 to 40,000, remove the track, and make the seats closer to the field. I am sure that the project will be significantly hampered by all of their revenue loss.

I just think that starting at -30 it will be an extremely tall order to finish in the top 3 (or in Italy it might be 4 that go up and down).

As for ACMilan, it helps to have friends in higher places than even Juve do.

Cesc is going nowhere, unless you count the 4 blocks from Highbury over to Ashburton Grove. Cesc for Robinho and Baptista makes no sense at all. Arsenal are in need of a centreback or two in a major way, with Sol leaving and Senderos out for 3 months with his seperated shoulder.

I have learned suring the silly season not to believe anything at all until there is a press conference with a player holding up his new team's jersey for the photographers.

What do you tink of Baptista Moin? I heard that he was rubbish last year, or at least that he didn't live up to the amazing hype that preceded him. I remember being let down that he went to Real rather than Arsenal last summer, but then feeling better off after reading that he had been disappionting. Many foreign players take a year to adapt to the EPL before playing well (Henry, Pires, to name but 2) - do you think that a similar adjustment went on with "The Beast"? Interested to hear your thoughts if you would rather he stayed or went.

My main focus right now is hoping that Arsenal are drawn against a team that I have never heard of nor can I pronounce their name for their CL 3rd round qualifying tie. About half of these I have never heard of, so there's a decent chance:

Anonymous said...

I think Baptista is a very good player. You don't score 20 goals and then follow it up with 18 goals in La Liga from the midfield without being good. Real just wasn't a good fit for him in that I don't think he makes for a very good out and out striker like he's asked to play. Yes he was bad at Real Madrid, but I think if he went to, say, Arsenal, he would be a star. He started out as a defensive mid. So just imagine Vieira showing so much offensive qualities at a young age that they shifted him to a striker/attacking mid, and you got Baptista. A poor man's Adriano, but hey, that's not a bad thing at all.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Berlusconi had to pick up the phone to rig the results and still got hosed on points and Champions League makes me happy. It's not much, but it's something. I still think that Lazio should have been sent to play in Albania.

Anonymous said...

re: AC Milan

People say their is corruption in American sports, but it doesn't even scratch the surface of the corruption in European soccer.

I feel more disillusioned with soccer each day lately.