An organised crime family tried to buy Lazio
Naughty gang attempted to use Serie A club for money laundering
A story is emerging today concerning a notorious crime gang – the Clan dei Caselesi – and their attempts to buy Lazio in 2006. Italian authorities claim that the family from the Camorra, the Naples version of the Mafia, tried to buy the club through a Hungarian pharmaceutical company using funds gained from violence, intimidation and lots of other naughty stuff:
[...] police in Rome made 10 arrests as part of an operation codenamed ‘Broken Wings’. The people being held are Italians and foreigners.In 2006, Lazio president Claudio Lotito was given police protection after receiving threats from ultras (club supporters group), who were allegedly trying to intimidate him into selling to a consortium led by former Lazio player and president Giorgio Chinaglia.
Chinaglia fled after being charged with market-rigging linked to his bid while Lotito has also faced similar charges over his handling of Lazio’s shares with another stakeholder. The cases are ongoing and the men deny wrongdoing.
Despite his outstanding arrest warrant, former Swansea and New York Cosmos striker Chinaglia is living somewhere in the USA, hosting The Football Show on satellite radio.
In the outbreak of this news, fans and analysts from around the world have been expressing their disbelief that such corruption could occur in a country like Italy.