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News and Notes Ahead of Catania Clash

Claudio Villa

The transfer season is mercifully slowing down. The lack of available cash nationwide to dole out on transfers seems to only intensify the rabid, imaginary documentation that is oddly identified as “sports reporting” in Italy and places European.

Item 1. Joel Obi goes out on loan to Parma. As an admitted fan of Joel Obi I am not too upset about this. He’s been out forever, his fitness has got to be crap and he needs to reassert himself in the profession. Inter can get him healthy again, but it’s too late in the summer for him to get a place in a team that is desperate to compete at higher levels. Parma worries about salvation first and will be willing to bring him along at the pace he needs because in a month or two he could be an important cog in their attaining that salvation. At Inter he might practice but others are much farther along in the conditioning/chemistry building. If he can rediscover that personality that made him an interesting prospect 2 years ago, then he’ll come back and be a factor for this team yet.

Item 2. As of this writing Olsen has yet to be loaned out, contrary to many, many reports out there. Speculation is rife and probably rightly so, but there is no truth to this yet... Having said that, I think that Mazzarri loves this kid. Even though, you know, he hates young players.

Item 3. Reporters are hovering like vultures in the desert around Moratti. They are desperate to announce the sale of shares of Inter. Over the last 3 months we have heard that these sales are imminent almost weekly – much to the chagrin of the various newspapers that have falsely reported this. So, having been burned at least once, in some cases thrice, reporters are reticent to announce anything, but they are doing so in such a way in which they try to lead the reader to a conclusion. “there has been a meeting of the Inter Board of Directors…” “Thohir’s cronies have been spotted at xyz…” It’s getting kind of funny. The news will be announced when it becomes relevant. My personal opinion is that it will happen either mid September or mid October. If not by mid October then I doubt it’ll be announced this year. It’s just a gut feeling I have – pure speculation.

Item 4. Botta the Attacking Argie that Inter got from Tigre on a free this summer is slated to join, you got it, Livorno is accordance to The Ten Commandments of Mazzarri. No doubt, they will rehabilitate him for however long the loan is for. This of course opens up a non-EU slot on the team. I can’t think that this deal was done by accident. I also don’t think that it’ll be filled this summer, but then again, I should have learned about the last minute deals that this team likes to make, shouldn’t I?

Item 5. There is a significant rift in the politics of the league happening. The triumvirate of Lotito, Galliani and De La, in the person of Serie A President Maurizio Beretta, is being challenged by Inter, Juve, Fiorentina, Roma, Sampdoria, Sassuolo and Verona. Inter has been in the forefront of trying to oust Beretta for years, including combining 7 teams in 2011 to force a vote in assembly to get rid of him in an effort to reform several aspects of Serie A, including the current disagreement: TV rights.

This new grouping is much harder to ignore and the genesis is a bit more personal. Most of the big clubs in Italy were looking to oust the Lotito-Beretta/Galliani partnership that has in some form or another been in charge of the Italian top flight for a long while now. Last January a triumvirate of Lotito, Galliani and De La carried 11 other teams into the minimum of 14 votes needed to confirm Lotito’s man Beretta as President again. De La's involvement is curious considering his rant at a league meeting just on this very topic in opposition to Galliani in 2011. However, in a move of far reaching consequences, and in my opinion questionable logic, the leadership removed the “rebellious” team Presidents from all councils and decision making in the league. At the time, Galliani tried to spin the uninvited as no big deal, but as usual no one - not even Fester himself - believed the words coming out of his pie hole. It was a slap in the face and no mistaking it.

And that brings us to yesterday. The 7 teams left out of the league leadership acted again and sent a letter (contents leaked, of course) to the Serie A leadership. Basically, it demanded a new strategy for the next cycle of TV rights. Amongst the demands is a reexamination of using Infront Sports and Media (the controversial company that had FIFA leader Sepp Blatter’s nephew as President) who received a perceived disproportionate fee for questionable results in overseas promotion of Serie a and a more common sense approach to TV rights in Italy. Specifically named was the current (and frankly puzzling) foreign TV deal that left Serie A receiving much less money and orders of magnitude less exposure than the EPL for example. Beretta said that there is already a committee discussing these things. Quick, hands up who thinks that Galliani is in charge of that committee despite the obvious and remarkable ethical quandary that his presence in such a discussion invites.

Hence, the reform need, and the reform probably no happen. President Bunga Bunga happy and the other 70% of Italian football sad. Savvy?

Item 6. Those of you who were upset about the lineup against Genoa probably shouldn’t look at the probable lineup for Sunday. Why ruin the weekend with sports rage until it absolutely needs to be ruined?