Daniele Fortunato

With the “CLOSED DOOR” policy continuing for reserve and youth games keeping things ticking over is becoming a challenge. The latest “CLOSED DOOR” was against English giants Carlisle United, which I believe was a 2-1 defeat. If we had a Reserve League game the club would have used exactly the same players and the game would have been open to the public.

For the latest post I decided to have a wee look at an Italian youth import that didn’t quite make the breakthrough into the first team.

Daniele Fortunato

FortunatoDaniele joined Rangers Under 18’s on his seventeenth birthday in January 2001, Having already trained with the club for a month whilst awaiting clearance to join from his previous club AS Roma. At the time of his signing he was a current Italian youth International.

Although he was described as a central defender ,at 5′ 8″ he was never used in that position and was deployed in central midfield. He was soon established as a regular in the Under 18 side and featured in Under 21/Reserve side too. He was a decent player at youth level but never made the breakthrough to the first team and returned to Italy and signed for Serie A side Ancona.

Towards the end of 2003-04 season he made his Serie A debut as a late substitute in Ancona’s 2-1 home win against Empoli, which brought him face to face with current Ranger Emilson Cribari who lined up in the visitor’s central defence. The following game saw Daniele selected from the start in the 1-0 away defeat to Perugia. His team mates that day included Magnus Hedman (remember him), Dino Baggio and Goran Pandev, but they lost out to a goal scored by Jay Boothroyd who was paired with Fabrizzio Ravanelli in the Perugia attack. Daniele almost completed ninety minutes but picked up a red card with two minutes remaining.

That proved to be the peak of Daniele’s footballing achievements if not his biggest headlines. DANIELEIn 2005 he signed for Victoria in Serie C1 and also had a short spell with Acireale in the same tier of the Italian leagues. It looked like a step up in 2006 when he signed for Serie B club Ternana, but he became in embroiled in a dispute with the club along with another ten players.

In the subsequent tribunal it was said these players were not allowed, despite repeated requests, to train with the first team and were deprived of appropriate equipment for athletic training. The club did not comply with decisions of arbitration and training with the first team was only possible after police intervention.

The judgement included a paragraph on each player and it  was concluded that Daniele Fortunato had been prevented from training with the first team squad. The player turned to arbitration which recognised his reasons and he was reinstated in January 2007 but did not play a single minute for the club.

As a result Ternana official Giuliano Fish was  suspended for 6 months, the club docked 1 point and fined €50,000.

Daniele then signed for Serie C1 club Pescara in 2007, at this point the player decided to sue Ternana, but without submitting a request to the Italian FA (FIGC) for permission to do so. Ternana notified the FIGC and the story becomes public knowledge with further consequences for the player. Pescara demote the player from the first team squad and at a subsequent FA hearing he was suspended for 6 months and  fined €5,000. Pescara were fined €10,000 and docked 3 points, he terminated his contract with Pescara in the summer of 2009.

He appears to have made one appearance since,for lower league side Igea Virtis in 2010.

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