Saturday, 2 June 2007

Financial scandal to hit clubs?

A new scandal is set to hit Italian football after Sampdoria and Messina were accused of some very creative accounting.

The investigation into the financial affairs of Serie A clubs has concluded with warnings that Sampdoria President Riccardo Garrone, director general Beppe Marotta, Messina patron Pietro Franza and Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani could possibly face charges.

The inquiry began when former Bologna President Giuseppe Gazzoni Frascara accused several clubs of "administrative doping."

The allegations stretch back to 2002-03 and claim that the sides artificially inflated the prices of youth team players to make their balance sheets look healthier than they really were.

Specifically the investigation is based around Ikechukwu Kalu, who had half his contract sold by Samp to Milan for £1.3m and Luca Antonini moving the other way for £2.7m.

Messina risk far more, as the local courts allege that all the balance sheets between 2001 and 2006 were affected by similar strategies. No charges have yet been brought.

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