When the Calciopoli scandal of 2006 led to Torino’s cross-city rivals Juventus being stripped of two scudetti, it was the first time an Italian championship had been revoked since Toro were given the same punishment in 1927. Whilst even Juventus’ official website continues to maintain that they have been champions of Italy on 29 occasions, the Torino hierarchy do not seem to have made any serious attempt to reclaim the ‘missing championship’ of 1927. This article will examine whether Toro should try to claim this title as their eighth scudetti or whether it should remain unassigned.
In the 1926/27 campaign, Torino thought they had achieved their maiden Serie A title, after finishing above Bologna and Juventus in the final standings. However, weeks after being crowned champions, rumours regarding a possible scandal surfaced in numerous newspapers regarding the validity of Torino’s victory. Speculation centred around Torino’s 2-1 victory against rivals Juventus on June 5 1927 and more specifically, whether Juve left back Luigi Allemandi had been bribed in order to ensure that Toro came out of the derby match with a victory. It was alleged that Torino official Dr Nani had agreed to pay Allemandi 50,000 lire if his performance enabled Torino to win the match.
However, strangely enough, Allemandi was one of Juventus’ best performers in the match, and because of this, Dr Nani refused to pay him the full amount of money that they had previously agreed. This disagreement between the two men was apparently overheard and this led to the scandal being exposed. Despite the evidence that apparently implicated Dr Nani being described as ‘unreliable’ by many commentators since the event, Torino had their first scudetto revoked by the authorities.
So the question is - should this championship be reassigned to Torino? Whilst there is a lack of evidence regarding the scandal, it is believed that Dr Nani acted independently of both the club and the President in his attempt to bribe an opposition player. This raises the question whether the players and fans of Torino should have been punished because of the actions of one ‘maverick’. The Torino squad of 1927 did not ask for Dr Nani to bribe their opponents and therefore it is certainly unfair that their achievements on the field in the 1926/27 season have not been recognised.
If Allemandi’s involvement directly affected the result of the match, (e.g. he scored an own goal) then it could perhaps be argued that the authorities were justified in revoking the scudetto from Torino. However, the fact that Allemandi was apparently the best player on the pitch on that day suggests that even if he was bribed (a fact he always denied) it was ultimately irrelevant in terms of the result.
After the scandal, Torino did not have long to wait for their first championship as they won the scudetto the following season. Both Nani and Allemandi were given life bans from the sport, although Allemandi’s did not last long, and he was even a part of Italy’s victorious World Cup squad in 1934.
Whilst I may be biased, you will probably see from this article that I wholeheartedly believe that Torino should be awarded the 1927 scudetto. Given their current predicament, it is very unlikely that Torino will ever be challenging for another scudetto in my lifetime, thus making it even more important that fans attempt to claim one they ‘technically’ won.
I highly doubt that after 85 years, the title will suddenly be reassigned to Torino, but I will leave it to those who will read this article to decide whether it should, if not unofficially, be classed as Torino’s 1st scudetto.
To leave this article on a lighter note, some fans may be comforted by the fact that the researchers of the popular computer game ‘Football Manager 2012’ do not seem to have received the memo regarding the 1927 scudetto being revoked, as demonstrated by this screen shot.
I would like to thank Simone Moricca whose article in Italian about the 1927 Scudetto encouraged me to write about this topic. You can follow Simone on Twitter here, and his original article can be found here.