May 29, 2006
Soccer Scandal Breeds Contract Woes
Turin's Juventus is Italy's most famous soccer franchise. This year it won its record 29th Italian championship, and it has extremely lucrative television and licensing deals. All that may be in jeopardy, however, as a result of a scandal that has rocked Italian soccer. The Bianconeri ("White-blacks") may have to forfeit their wins for 2005-06, which would mean the team would be demoted from the prestigious Serie A to the lower-level Serie B.
Why are we mentioning this? Well, the commercial implications of the demotion of Juventus -- equivalent to dropping the New York Yankees down to Triple-A where they would play Pawtucket and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre instead of Boston and Chicago -- are staggering. Francesco Portolano and Ernesto Apa of Rome's Portolano Colella Cavallo Studio Legale note that there are hundreds of contracts and large amounts of money riding on the Juventus image as a first-tier club, and lawyers will soon be taking notice.
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