Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Fiorentina, Paradise or Hell?

Serie A 2005/2006, the top division of the Italian Football League, ended a few days ago and for the supporters, like me, of Fiorentina football club it has been a wonderful season, culminated, beyond all the most optimistic expectations, with the achievement of the fourth place, that means Fiorentina will play the UEFA Champions League next year.
This is a very remarkable result, especially considering the recent history of the club and the current set up of the Italian Football League, where mostly all the financial resources and the power are in the hands of a few clubs - Juventus, Milan, Inter - and their vassals - Roma, Lazio and other smaller teams. In this layout Fiorentina is struggling to maintain an indipedent but important position, relying on the financial resources of their owners (the Della Valle family), on a close group of motivated and talented players and on the huge push of their supporters (probably the most ardent of Italy).
In fact the "Artemio Franchi" Stadium, during this season, has been a bedlam where mostly all the opposite teams have been defeated; here are the highligths of this season:

Unfortunately we cannot really enjoy this moments, because the most schocking scandal in the history of Italian football is shaking the fundamentals of the Italian Football League:

Scandal Rocks Italian Football

This probably represents the confirmation of the worst suspicions over the last years: there was a plan that consisted of assigning friendly referees for Juventus games, and finding unfriendly ones for their rivals.
But what is really schocking the supporters of Fiorentina is that also Fiorentina is under investigation!
Here is the plot that is emerging in these days:

  • during the last season the Della Valle family (the owner of Fiorentina) was fighting a battle in the Italian Football League to try to get more equity in the distribution of money from the television between the bigger and smaller Serie A teams.
  • as a consequence of this, several Fiorentina's games have been conditioned by unfriendly refrees
  • the club struggled to avoid relegation, securing survival only on the last day of the season, but only after the Della Valle family gave up their battle for the tv money
If it will be proved that Della Valle gave up the battle for the blackmail of their enemies and so they were aware of the existence of this illegal organization, Fiorentina could risk severe penalties... that's incredible.

Now the question is: next year, Fiorentina will be in Paradise or Hell?