More Malicious Moggi Obscenities

I could have lumped all of Moggi's legal woes together in the post yesterday, but everything's not related and I didn't want to distract from Zeman himself. In any case, yesterday Moggi, along with former colleagues Bettega and Giraudo, was acquitted in a Torino court. They were accused of meddling with so called plusvalenze, a method with which a club writes up (or down) the value of a player sold or bought, in order to create a financial gain even if there technically hadn't been any.

An illustrative (and very wordy, be warned) example is Matteo Brighi: when Roma sold Emerson, his contract was running out and he was faking depression in order to get his move to Juventus through. Roma recognized that he couldn't stay, and agreed to sell. The problem was in Emerson's short contract length, which normally renders a player much less expensive, but Roma still needed to get paid in order to sell him to rivals Juve. So Moggi included Brighi into the deal, and Juventus and Roma agreed to declare his value (on paper) at around €15 million, which he realistically wasn't worth at the time. So to Roma went €16 million and Matteo Brighi, agreed arbitrarily to be worth €15 million; to Juventus went Emerson. The transaction of course was welcomed by both parties; Roma got rid of a locker room cancer and got a good young midfielder as well, and a chance to declare Emerson's sale value at the full €31 million the transfer had cost on paper. That means Roma made a handsome profit on the player they had bought once for around €20 million. Juventus, on the other hand, declared the sale of Matteo Brighi as a huge capital gain, having signed him from serie C/2 club Rimini for spare change.

If you stuck with me through all of that, you can see both why it is an attractive practice for football clubs to engage in, as well as problems in proving that's what happened. I'm no lawyer, and would love to hear from someone who is to see their take, but my hunch would be that it's one of those things everyone knows happened, but is almost impossible to prove. How do you prove Roma didn't see great potential and a future Italian international in Brighi, for example?

So the Triad was absolved of wrongdoing in the Torino trial, but that wasn't totally unexpected. It's in the mutual interest of, well, the football community to not convict them for the plusvalenze, lest most everyone else should start to fall like dominoes. But more importantly: the real trial is in Napoli. That's where all of the Calciopoli mess is being treated, the Swiss SIM cards, Moggi Jr.'s agency GEA and their actions, etcetera. Unless the new statutes of limitations proposed comes into effect first, meaning the trials will be shut down (yes, that's a very real possibility).