No, Juventus is not the only Italian club singled out by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC). The Naples public prosecutor’s office has requested a six-month extension for the investigation of the financial balance sheet for the Campania club’s 2020-2021 period, concerning the transfer of Victor Osimhen. Italian justice recently notified all the protagonists of this story of a notice of extension of the investigations, to focus on a series of aspects related to the contract signed by the Nigerian, but also other former players passed by Naples during this period. . A few lines signed by the Neapolitan prosecutor Francesco De Falco and addressed to the senior management of the Neapolitan club which, as we know, is involved in the investigations into the purchase of the player from the French club Lille. But the Neapolitan daily Il Mattino took stock this Monday morning on the news of this case. Just like the national newspaper of La Repubblica who also took up this new extra-sporting file which affects the Italian championship.
The official deal was estimated, at least on paper, at 71 million euros (52 million in cash + the sale of goalkeeper Karnezis and three Primavera players), on which there were subsequently several analyzes and other crosschecks from the Guardia di Finanza in Naples, but also from the corresponding French investigation unit, which digs into the accounts of the Mastiffs. Technically, the Naples public prosecutor’s office could close the investigation next spring, while, also in the light of the ongoing correspondence with the French, it could request its dismissal or carry out the criminal action, with a view to the formal commencement of a trial. Emails and contracts relating to the purchase of the Nigerian footballer ended up at the center of the investigation, but also other elements, mostly related to the transfer by Napoli to Lille of goalkeeper Karnezis and three other youngsters players. The assessment of the three Primavera players, who have never joined the Lille squad, is increasingly questioning the investigators coordinated by assistant Vincenzo Piscitelli. On paper, the value of the quartet is around 20 million, but in fact the trajectory of their career highlights a very different economic reality: overbilling which would have affected the definition of the budgets of the two clubs involved in the deal.
Four overrated players
The work of the French magistrates coupled with the denunciation of the new presidency of Lille on certain operations of the previous management made it possible to complete the file. Victor Osimhen was bought for 52 million euros, then supplemented by the sale of goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis (who played only one game in two seasons at Lille before breaking his contract last summer) and three players from the Primavera team of the time, who in fact never signed a contract with the French club: Luigi Liguori (who plays in the regional championship with Casoria), Claudio Manzi (Turris in Serie C) and Ciro Palmieri (Nola in Serie D), budgeted for 21.3 million euros. A figure of added value that the federal prosecutor had considered very suspicious while burying the real possibility of establishing the objective value of a footballer. Along with the offense of misrepresentation in the financial statements, fraudulent declarations are also supposed, an offense involving the president of SSC Napoli Aurelio de Laurentiis, relating to part of the sum paid to Lille, i.e. just over 21 million euros. euros, on which 4.6 million value added taxes were paid. Sporting justice had already dealt with the sale of the attacker, without detecting any wrongdoing, and the club, through its lawyers, reiterated that it was able to demonstrate the regularity of the transaction .
Italy’s sports justice has its work cut out in this case, since FIGC prosecutor Giuseppe Chiné says he is ready to ask the Naples prosecutor’s office for the documents in the Osimhen case, in a scenario that seems repetitive to say the least. . Defended by the Neapolitan criminal lawyer Fabio Fulgeri, the club expressed itself thus a few months ago in Il Mattino: “In this case, the Neapolitan club is absolutely calm, also because the case has been dealt with by sports justice and has given us a favorable outcome in two circumstances”. An explicit reference related to the acquittal in the disciplinary office of Naples, when the first suspicions related to the history of the Osimhen contract appeared two years ago. From now on, criminal and disciplinary controls are expected, even if it means launching into comparisons with the situation of Juventus to defend themselves. It’s a fact: on the Osimhen affair there are still no telephone interceptions from which would emerge the alleged method used by the Juventus club to build dubious balance sheets. A detail that should make the difference between Naples and Turin. For the moment, it is too early to know the sporting risks incurred for the Partenopei, but the FIGC is patiently waiting for the public prosecutors to send them the papers at the end of the investigation as happened in the file. of the Bianconeri.