Italy’s most successful football club again mired in scandal.
Juventus, 36-time Serie A champions, have dropped to ninth place after falling 15 points following an investigation into the club’s past transfers.
The Turin club is currently 27 points behind the leader of the table Napoli. They were in third place, 10 points off the top of the table, before the penalty was imposed on Friday.
The controversy came less than 20 years after they were embroiled in a match-fixing story resulted in heavy fines, title deprivation and relegation from Italian football’s top division in 2006.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest scandal:
Why is Juventus divided?
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced on Friday evening that Juventus had been deducted 15 points for “financial irregularities” and “false accounting” in connection with the historic transfer – bridge exchange. between clubs.
The club are accused of pumping up its balance sheet by deliberately inflating the value of players during the transfer process to promote “capital gains”.
Balancing the books has become more important in recent years after UEFA, European football’s governing body, introduced Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
The prosecutor of the FIGC, Giuseppe Chiné, requested a penalty of 9 points. The federation will announce the reasons for the ruling within the next 10 days.
Do other penalties apply?
Along with the points deduction, the FIGC also introduced a ban on 11 former and current Juventus executives, preventing them from holding positions in Italian football.
The longest ban – 30 months in total – was imposed on former Juventus sporting director and current Tottenham chief executive Fabio Paratici.
Former president Andrea Agnelli was suspended for 24 months, while vice president Pavel Nedved was banned for eight months. Both served as members of the club’s board of directors, they resigned en masse in November in response to an investigation into the club’s books.
The FIGC has requested an extension of the bans it has imposed on “UEFA and FIFA activities” – a move that, if adopted, would mean individuals sanctioned are also barred from working during the period. football field outside Italy.
What do Juventus say?
Juventus has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
The club has announced that it will proceed with an appeal against the FIGC ruling – after the reasons for the decision have been made public – to the Sports Assurance Department of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), the court Italy’s highest sport.
The club’s lawyers said the federation’s sanctions “make a clear difference in the treatment of Juventus and its managers compared to any other company or member”.
“We consider this a blatant injustice to our millions of fans, which we believe will soon be remedied in the next court,” the lawyers said in a statement.
Are other clubs involved?
Not as it stands.
Juventus, 10 other clubs – including Napoli and Sampdoria – and 59 executives were acquitted of any wrongdoing last April following an accounting investigation.
The investigation was reopened in December after an appeal, with nine of the original 11 clubs and 52 executives all subject to new scrutiny.
That comes after new evidence regarding Juventus’ finances emerged from a separate investigation involving prosecutors in Turin and the club.
This time, nine clubs were investigated and Juventus found guilty of financial negligence. Eight other clubs – Empoli, Genoa, Novara, Parma, Pescara, Pisa, Pro Vercelli and Sampdoria – were again acquitted.
What happens next?
While Juventus are poised for what could be a lengthy legal battle ahead, Italy’s oldest football club is also doing its best to salvage what has been an underwhelming season. statue on the field.
The team has been knocked out of the Champions League and the point deduction puts them at risk of losing a place in the top 4 of Serie A, which will guarantee the team a place in Europe’s top club level tournament. Europe next year.
The old lady, commonly known as Juventus, is currently 14 points behind the fourth ranked team, Roma.
Failure to qualify for the Champions League will have major economic consequences for the club and, combined with this latest scandal, could lead to an exodus of the team’s most talented players. .
Against this backdrop, Juventus is also the subject of a legal investigation by the prosecutor’s office in Turin over the payment of wages during the COVID-19 pandemic and a UEFA investigation into potential violations of regulations on wages. club licensing and FFP by the governing body.
The UEFA poll could eventually see Juventus banned from the Champions League or smaller European club competitions – the Europa League and the Conference League – regardless of their final place in Serie A.