Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Inter rapped in financial probe

Italian champions Inter would not have been able to compete in the 2005/06 season if important financial information had come to light - this is the accusation launched by the financial regulators on Wednesday.

The claims against several sides – including Milan, Sampdoria and Reggina – are being investigated after accusations that some transfer fees were inflated between 2003 and 2005 in order to obtain fictitious capital gains. There is an inquest into the finances of these clubs led by Milan public prosecutor Carlo Nocerino.

Covisoc, the body which monitors finances of Serie A and B clubs each summer, said Inter would not have had the necessary financial security to have been allowed to enter the 2005/06 championship if full figures had been available.

"Financial balance would have been lost if the club had shown the losses connected to the fictitious capital gains and Inter would not have fitted the parameters asked for by Covisoc for registration in the 2005-06 championship," the commission said in a statement.

However, Inter have denied the accusations.

"FC Internazionale wish to make clear that they have never included fictitious capital gains in their own budgets and that they have already presented the necessary and complete technical documentation," the club said in a statement tonight.

Inter were awarded the 2005/06 title after original winners Juventus were stripped of the Scudetto and demoted for their role in the Calciopoli referee-rigging scandal.

"We are not worried in the slightest over this inquest," said President Massimo Moratti. "Of course it is disappointing, but frankly there doesn’t seem to be anything to concern ourselves about."

Inter have repeatedly stated they were the ‘only clean side’ in the running for trophies in 2005-06, so Moratti concedes this is an unfortunate turn of events. "It’s a shame in terms of our image, but I am sure that the shadows of this story will soon be dissipated. We still need to give our deposition and that will definitively clear up a situation that in my eyes seems a little absurd.

"In fact, I hear that there are other clubs involved. I think financial instability at the side did not exist. I pay millions every day and am fully accustomed to checking the balance sheets, but clearly it is difficult to evaluate the value of a player who today is worth £3m and in a month could be worth either £8m or nothing."

Source: C4 Football Italia, Reuters & Inter

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