When the entire Juventus board, including President Andrea Agnelli, resigned a few months ago, it sent shockwaves through Italian football. Yet again, Juventus had been hit with a stern penalty for financial irregularities. Unlike Calciopoli, though, the issue wasn’t on the pitch with match-fixing but in the front office with financial doping. The Bianconeri were hit with a 15-point deduction, which seriously dampened their hopes for a top-four spot.
That deduction is currently under appeal and the points could be reinstated as speculation runs rife with what exactly the final punishment will be for the Turin giants. That being said, just like with Calciopoli, the Bianconeri aren’t the only ones at risk of penalty. Remember Milan, Lazio, Fiorentina, and Reggina were also punished during that scandal just under two decades ago.
And now, the financial investigation for inflated player valuations is starting to hit other clubs, including Roma. Yesterday, the Italian Guardia Finanza raided the headquarters of Roma, Lazio, and Salernitana over transfer dealings from 2017 to 2021.
It’s reported that 18 transfers involving those three clubs are being brought under the microscope, including those that brought Leonardo Spinazzola, Bryan Cristante, Gregoire Defrel, and Max Kumbulla to the capital. The full list can be found below.
This investigation seems to be independent of the Prisma investigation of Juve as the Public Prosecutors Office of Rome and Tivoli is heading the investigation. It’s reported by Calciomercatio.com that many current and former directors of both Rome-based clubs are targeted in the investigation.
That list is as follows: James Pallotta, Dan Friedkin, Ryan Friedkin, Umberto Gandini, Mauro Baldissoni, Guido Fienga, Pietro Berardi, Francesco Malknecht e Giorgio Francia for Roma and Claudio Lotito, Marco Moschini, Marco Cavaliere, Igli Tare, Luciano Corradi, Ugo Marchetti e Angelo Fabiani for Lazio.
The specific reason behind the investigation was outlined by Calciomercato:
“Roma have allegedly committed false corporate communications and fraudulent declarations by means of false invoicing, whilst Lazio have been accused of ‘issuing invoices for non-existent transactions and fraudulent declarations with the use of invoices for non-existent transactions, as well as false corporate communications’.”
The club released a very brief statement about the investigation, pledging full compliance with investigators.
If the clubs and or officials are found guilty, they will likely face financial penalties, while Salernitana should escape unsanctioned as the violations occurred under the previous owner (Lotito). However, punishments could be harsher if it’s found that either club needed any of these falsified dealings to be decisive in registering for a Serie A season. If that is the case, then points deductions or even relegation could be brought into play.
Only time will tell how all of this shakes out, but if Roma is found guilty and the punishment is more than a fine, it could have long-term ramifications for the club. We’ll keep you up to date with any updates as they become available.