Turin Brakes

So, the prosecution have spoken, and it’s bad news for at least three out of the four. Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina are all down. It’s a kick in the teeth for those that had argued – including Silvio Berlusconi – for “clemency”, because Italy won the World Cup. Hmm. Nothing to do with your interests, surely, Silvio? Are you sure? Ironically, his Milan team have avoided the worst of the punishment (which will doubtlessly have tongues wagging still further in the Nerazzuri half of Milan), but even they have been docked fifteen points and booted unceremoniously out of the Champions’ League. Given the damning indictments of all of four clubs’ behaviour, Milan can count themselves very lucky indeed. For Juventus, it’s what could well turn out to be an extended stay at the nursing home of Serie B for The Old Lady – a thirty point deduction and relegation more or less rules them out of an immediate escape from life amongst the also-rans, and it will now take quite a spectacular performance just to avoid a second relegation. The prognosis could be very serious for them. Playing on the outskirts of town in the deeply unloved Stadio Delle Alpe, they struggled for crowds at the top of Serie A. They are, perhaps, more dependent on TV and prize money than any other major club in Europe. They may...

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