February 5, 2023

Juventus loses 15 points in the Italian League and suspends 11 coaches due to fraud in the club’s transfer values

And the Federal Court of Appeal in Italy set a 15-point penalty for Juventus in the current Serie A season, thus dropping the old lady from third to tenth in the table, with 22 points. In addition, several leaders of the Bianconeri have been suspended from the sport. The biggest punishment is for Fabio Paratici, the former sports director, who has not been able to work in football for 2.5 years, while the former president Andrea Agnelli received a two-year ban. Sanctions refer to the case of transfer values ​​made by a club being manipulated, inflated to cover losses on balance sheets and to avoid financial fair play penalties. The investigation was reopened after a request by the Italian Confederation General Prosecutor (FIGC), in the face of new evidence. Juventus can still appeal the sanctions at the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

Previously, the Juventus transfer fee-fixing case was dropped. Italian justice acquitted the charges in April 2022, upon estimating that it would not be possible to accurately determine the player’s value in the transfer process. However, phone calls intercepted by the youth leaders brought details of the scams. They pointed to the harmonization of the above stipulated values, to circumvent debts and achieve balance in financial budgets. Top haters reported that prices were inflated, and even cited concern about the illegal procedure.

The frauds occurred in financial reports submitted by Juventus in 2019, 2020 and 2021 – a practice even before the pandemic. By limiting its losses through inflated transfer values, Juventus were able to artificially remedy the deficit and indicated that its balance sheets remained intact relative to the terms stipulated by the regulatory bodies, in particular UEFA’s Financial Fair Play. In this way, the young men avoided punishment and made new expenditures possible.

In light of the new evidence presented through the interception of the phone calls, the lawyer for FIGC, represented by Giuseppe Chenier, appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal so that the case could be reopened and the necessary penalties applied. The federation requested nine points from Juventus in the current Serie A season, in addition to suspensions for managers ranging from 10 to 34 months. The Federal Court of Appeal accepted the request. He even considered it appropriate to apply a greater sporting penalty to the club, with a 15-point loss in Serie A.

Current Tottenham sporting director Fabio Paratici received the most severe individual punishment. The former Juventus sporting director will not be able to hold positions in football for the next 30 months. As FIFA and UEFA will lift the sanctions, Paratici will not be able to go about his job in England. Andrea Agnelli, the former president of Juventus, was given a 24-month ban, as was Maurizio Arrivabene, the former chairman of the board. Sports coordinator Federico Cherubini will have to take a 16-month suspension. In addition, there is a list of seven more caps with an eight-month suspension – among them is Pavel Nedved, who was vice president.

It is noteworthy that most of the punished managers resigned from their positions at Juventus in November, in the face of the team’s salary manipulation scandal. This is another case, by the way. The club is also being investigated for fraudulently defrauding its financial statements, under the hood, for carrying out payments of money players were supposed to have cut back during the pandemic. Such a maneuver could generate other penalties for the old lady and the top hats – because of the seriousness of the case, even the heavy ones.

In this current case sanctioned by the Federal Court of Appeal, 22 referrals were analyzed by the justice – some fraudulent, some not. Part of these deals were done with other Italian clubs that were acquitted – Sampdoria, Pro Vercelli, Genoa, Parma, Pisa, Empoli, Novara, Pescara. Despite the request of the federation’s public prosecutor, the managers of these teams were not punished either. In addition, there are international deals analysed, such as the exchange of Miralem Pjanic for Arthur with Barcelona.

New details of the decisions will be announced in the coming days. Juventus may appeal to the Colégio de Garantia do Esporte, a CONI body. According to Juventus’ defense presented in the Federal Court of Appeal, “none of the elements put forward by the prosecution prove that the value of the transfers was artificially overstated”. Bianconeri’s lawyers claim that there are internal documents validating their operations according to the values ​​they practice.