With impeccable timing following the unofficial nomination as England's man of the hour, L'Espresso has uncovered a story of treachery, off shore bank accounts and what we can only assume is a heavy, penetrating and intrusive scent of Old Spice. Meet Fabio Capello.
The article reveals the story of Mr. Capello's legal problems, and the occasional run-in with the Italian Treasury, and exposes some of the lengths he has gone to in order to - in the most banal of sayings - get paid:
Crates full of "Fabio Capello" perfume were kept in deposit for two long years. But then, since no one showed up to claim them, Customs officers proceeded to destroy them. Not one of them survived. . . . It's also a shame (in theory) for his former team, Roma, since it had purchased all those bottles of cologne, along with scarves and other objects designed by Don Fabio at a very expensive price: over €2-million paid directly to Sport 3000 - a company set up in Luxembourg by the most elegant football coach in the world.
The agreement also provided for more orders, but the Sensi family contested the contract as soon as Capello moved to the Juventus bench: it would have been difficult to place products bearing the brand name of someone who was considered nothing less than a "traitor" by Roma Football team fans.
This was discovered after an investigation by the Turin Public Prosecutor's Office, which looked into the earnings of Mr. Capello and his companies during the first half of the decade. Writing about one of the two trails they looked into:
The first one involved the relations between the Roma team and Sport 3000, which was paid a total amount of €4.8-million by the Italian capital's football club. Initially investigators believed that the perfume and the company were fictitious; but then they discovered that, on the contrary, the perfume bottles did truly exist and that the company was operational. The agreement with the Roma Football Team envisaged that the Sensi family (Franco Sensi was the General Manager of the team) would purchase cologne and other products from Don Fabio and then redistribute them on the market.
"A classic technique", explains an investigator, "that sports companies use to give their staff a sort of bonus: athletes and trainers have to be paid their salaries in Italy, whereas ploys of this sort allow them to pay much lower tax rates."
Roma isn't being implicated in the article as being investigated for any wrong doing, but it hardly feels kosher. All that talk about signing Batistuta ruining Roma financially? Yeah, turns out we spent enough money on perfumes to supply Milan and their locker room of geriatrics for a life time. Maybe that could have been a wiser investment.
The rest of the article doesn't fail to entertain (nor provide ample material for mockery and laughter), and exposes a full €16 million in taxes that Capello had withheld by evasion (that the authorities are aware of, it should be noted), "crushing evidence" against Capello and his family members, bank accounts in the "Isle of Guernsey, which is a tax haven that ended up on the OECD blacklist a decade ago", and a high stakes business venture with Genoa president Preziosi. When confronted with the crushing evidence, Mr. Capello handed over a record €5 million immediately as part of his settlement with the authorities.
But there's more: Rome courts will investigate him for perjury during his testimony during the trial against Gea. I'm getting the popcorn.