Following Rocco Commisso’s interview with the Financial Times the other day, the FIGC has decided to bring down the hammer on Fiorentina’s owner. It’s hardly the first time the Medicaom magnate’s willingness to speak his mind has landed him in trouble with the entrenched powers in Serie A, so it’s hard to see this as anything more than a petty bit of revenge, but this one’s notable just because it’s pretty funny.
Specifically, the league office has “opened an investigation,” according to the Gazzetta dello Sport, into the Rocco’s comments. That’s a transparently dumb thing: it’s not all that hard to investigate statements made in the Financial Times. The only thing I can think of is that FIGC prosecutor Giuseppe Chinè doesn’t have a subscription to the FT and needs someone to give him the login info so he can read the whole thing. It’s good to know that calcio’s top sleuths are on the job here.
I can make it a little easier for Chinè and his crew. Rocco unloaded on Juventus’ shady financial dealings, particularly on the aftermath of the Covisoc investigation, in which the Bianconeri (among various other clubs) were looked at for financial irregularities. As a result, the publicly-traded Juve stock fell by a third, leading to massive losses for shareholders. Commisso’s direct quote (translated by me), is: “If this had happened to a company listed in the US, the shareholders...would’ve sued those motherfuckers.”
This is devastating because it’s true and also objectively hilarious. The image of Rocco, a suit-wearing, Columbia-educated, 72-year-old billionaire, calling the Juve brass “motherfuckers” in public is good, wholesome fun. There’s also never a bad time to draw attention to the loopholes that the ultra-rich exploit in financial systems, and this is surely one of those cases. Any company that lost that much value that quickly should’ve seen a serious shakeup in leadership, but the Bianconeri just ignored it and kept moving as if nothing bad had happened, despite eye-popping expenditures.
Rocco also reached back in time to reiterate what happened with Gennaro Gattuso this summer, touching again on the Jorge Mendes fiasco in which the super-agent tried to push players he represented to Fiorentina in big money deals, with Mendes representing both sides. While this incident is common knowledge and seems like a pretty obvious problem, Chinè is apparently looking at it as a problem as well, because, y’know, it makes calcio look farcically corrupt.
We all know how this little episode is going to end up. Rocco will pay a fine that means absolutely nothing. The FIGC gets to pretend like it has power. And everyone watching will remember that this is the league that’s more focused on stopping people trying to watch the games than addressing the racism, sexism, bigotry, and corruption that runs rampant under its watch. It’s the same as it ever was, but adding “motherfuckers” to the stew at least gives it an earthy new flavor.