It doesn’t get any better with Tottenham, does it? Just days after they announced Antonio Conte’s departure from the club, director of football Fabio Paratici, tasked with finding him a replacement, has been banned from international football – plunging the club into chaos.
Paratici was banned for 30 months by the Italian federation in January earlier this year, with the 50-year-old sanctioned among several current and former Juventus executives for false accounting. But, so far, this ban has only been in force in Italy.
That all changed on Wednesday morning when FIFA confirmed – at the request of the Italian federation – that the ban would be extended worldwide. They stated: “FIFA can confirm that, at the request of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the Chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIFA on several football officials to have a global impact.”
Tottenham have since issued a statement claiming they are “urgently seeking further clarification from FIFA” on the matter.
Not surprisingly, the Tottenham official, who has been in office since the summer of 2021, denies any wrongdoing. As do other CEOs who have been banned. As does Juventus, who picked up 15 Serie A points as a result, and an appeal has already been launched.
But what exactly got Parachi and his colleagues into trouble? What does that mean for his future at Tottenham? And what will happen next? Sportsmail outlines the answers below.
Fabio Paratici has seen his 30-month ban in Italy extended worldwide by FIFA
Why was Fabio Paratici banned?
We start with the obvious question. It’s important to note, above all else, that of the 11 executives who have been banned, Paratici – who spent 11 years at Juventus – has been given the longest, at two-and-a-half years.
Meanwhile, former president Andrea Agnelli and CEO Maurizio Arrivabene have been banned for two years, while former vice president and player Pavel Nedved has been sentenced to eight months.
The penalties – and points deduction – were imposed following a “Prisma” investigation, in which the public prosecutor alleged that the club had misinterpreted the losses, particularly in relation to the amount attributed to player sales.
What this means, in simpler terms, is that Juventus have been accused of fixing their balance sheets – which have become ever more important in the era of financial fair play – by inflating transfer fees for capital gains.
To explain the capital gains, you can use the Juventus-Barcelona swap deal involving Arthur Melo and Miralem Pjanic as an example – although the two deals have never been “officially” linked.
It looks like Tottenham’s director of football will have to take a two-and-a-half year break from the game
Miralem Pjanić’s controversial quid pro quo deal becomes determined what has been found guilty of false accounting
The Juventus board resigned as one last year before they were banned from eight months to two and a half years.
There, Barcelona acquired Pjanic for €60m, while Juventus agreed to pay Arthur an initial €72m. In doing so, Juventus only had to show €12m in expenses, when he was apparently bringing in €60m – thus, both clubs made capital gains.
Juventus was not the only club initially accused of wrongdoing during this period, as it was also alleged that 10 other clubs overhauled their budgets through artificial gains from club transfers. But in April last year, the Italian Federal Court acquitted all eleven clubs, and the 59 individuals involved.
Then the case was reopened last December, with nine clubs, including Juventus, back in the firing line. This was after Juventus’ entire board resigned the previous month – and after the Italian club reported annual losses of £220m for the previous season.
Juventus was the only club to appeal when the case was reopened, with the other eight clubs acquitted.
The story doesn’t end here, though. An appeal against the penalties implemented by the FIGC – which include points deductions and individual bans – is set to be heard by the Italian Olympic Committee on April 19.
Meanwhile, Juventus and 11 former Juventus officials are now undergoing a hearing – postponed until May – to determine whether they should face a civil trial over allegations of false accounting and market manipulation.
What exactly does this mean for Parachi?
As things stand, he will likely have to step away from his role. As mentioned, his ban is now applied worldwide, and not only in Italy, in what is a big problem for Tottenham.
Yes, Paratici has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, but his future at the club is now in grave doubt. It may indeed have been so, after he was completely left out in Tottenham’s statement announcing Conte’s exit.
The 50-year-old is now unable to fulfill his duties, and will not advance. That is, of course, unless he successfully appeals his ban – which lawyers insist is unlikely.
However, even if his appeal is successful, it won’t come overnight, and it looks like the Italian will have to step away from the club at least temporarily.
The oddity of Paratici hitting Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday was underlined by his ban the following day.
What did Tottenham say?
Not much. In fact, nothing. The club has not yet responded to Wednesday’s news, though an official statement is expected.
What’s worse for Tottenham is that it was only on Tuesday that they published a lengthy interview with Barettisi, in which he insisted Conte’s exit was the right decision, while calling on fans to continue to lend their support until the end of the campaign.
Ironically, Paracci has now stressed the players to stay focused on the task at hand, urging them not to be distracted from the club’s latest training session. The interview remains on the club’s website and across their social media.
Tottenham have yet to say anything on the matter – although the Fans’ Trust said it had identified a ‘worrying situation’ at the club
Although the club remained silent, the confidence of the Tottenham Hotspur supporters called for clarity.
“This news adds to an extremely worrying situation at the club,” the statement read.
No manager, no director of football, uncertainty about our star (Harry Kane) and the end of the season. Fans deserve to hear a clear statement of strategy.
what happened after that?
Now, we wait. Paratici could be appealing against his 30-month ban by FIFA, in which case a long and drawn-out case he fought in the courts is likely to prove.
As indicated by the club’s supporters’ trust, it further underscores the turmoil and uncertainty surrounding Tottenham.
With Harry Kane’s future still uncertain as he enters the final year of his deal, the club face a difficult end to the season without a permanent manager and, apparently, Director of Football.
Daniel Levy at Tottenham claimed they had made “urgent inquiries” to FIFA in a statement
Tottenham have since issued a statement on the matter, which reads: ‘Following media reports today regarding the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s decision to extend the sentence imposed on Fabio Paratici by the FIFA Federal Court of Appeal on 20 January 2023, the club has made urgent inquiries. to FIFA.
Late this afternoon FIFA replied to us in writing to notify us today, Wednesday 29 March 2023, that a decision has been taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to extend FIGC’s worldwide sanction.
The deliberations of this committee were conducted without prior notice to any of the parties involved. We are urgently seeking further clarification from FIFA regarding the details of the extension and its difference from the FIFA sanction.
We would like to clarify that when Fabio gave the interview on the club’s channels yesterday, neither he nor the club had any indication that this decision had been taken by FIFA, based on the fact that the FIFA sanction was taken on January 20, 2023 and is still subject to appeal on April 19. 2023.”