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Roma, Italian clubs, sweating financial investigations

Posted by Julian Cardillo  June 25, 2013 12:19 PM

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The Italian Serie A's AS Roma, whose President is Boston Celtics co-owner James Palotta, is currently involved in a scandal with forty other teams in Italy. On Tuesday, Italian clubs were raided by the Italian Guardie di Finanza, similar to the US' Internal Revenue Service, on suspicions of money laundering and tax evasion.

The transactions in question allegedly "took enormous quantities of cash away from tax authorities," according to the court.

The searches and seizures were conducted by a Naples-based prosecutor. He said that at least ten other European teams are being investigated too, but did not specify which ones. The process, now being dubbed "Sick Soccer" is just the latest in a string of financial scandals that have rocked Italian soccer in recent years.

Italian Law Enforcement seized papers relating to contracts between players and their clubs. It was also confirmed that 12 player agents are being investigated. Roma spokespeople have declined to comment so far.

Meanwhile, Bologna and Cagliari were the only two top-flight teams exempt from investigation.

Juventus were relegated to Serie B and had two league titles stripped following their involvement in a betting scandal in 2005. In 2011, Roma denied participating in any kind of betting while a similar scandal was taking place at the time.

In 2011, Roma was calculated to be the 15th highest revenue earning team in the world with an estimated revenue of $188 million.

Palotta, Boston Red Sox-minority owner Thomas DiBenedetto, and UniCredit, a global banking service based in Italy, were all part of a Roma takeover in 2011.

Roma will travel to Kansas City to play the MLS All-Stars on July 31 and then play MLS side Toronto FC on Aug. 7.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Corner Kicks: Julian Cardillo offers insight and analysis about the New England Revolution as well as European and international soccer.

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