The Old Lady is exhausted. After several years of hegemony in Serie A, Juventus is sinking. This season, the Bianconeri are in a worrying eighth place after eleven days, with a record of 5 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses. In the tough league, the Italians are close to elimination in the UEFA Champions League. Tonight, they play big against Benfica (1st tied with PSG, 8 points) since they are third with only three points on the clock. The meeting in Lisbon is therefore crucial for the Turinese, who could take the door.
Which would be a hell of a snub for a club that doesn’t really need that right now. Indeed, Juve is going through very complicated moments behind the scenes. In addition to the fact that she is singled out by UEFA for the Super League project she is leading with FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Vecchia Signora is in a mess. This Tuesday, the Gazzetta dello Sport reveals that several Piedmontese leaders or former leaders are in the sights of justice. They are also seized to be monitored as part of a preliminary investigation carried out since 2021 by the Turin public prosecutor’s office.
Seize the designated leaders
President Andrea Agnelli, Pavel Nedved (vice-president), Maurizio Arrivabene (managing director) or even Fabio Paratici (former sports director) are notably pinned down by justice. This case, which concerns possible falsifications of accounts by the bianconera team, particularly in terms of player transfers and financial statements, is causing a stir on the other side of the Alps. The pink paper publication specifies that the chief prosecutor of Turin, Anna Maria Loreto, is interested in falsifications in terms of accounting and transfer window for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. She also rejected the request for summons to home of Andrea Agnelli, who still faces a trial.
The SMD adds that the Turin public prosecutor’s office has notified the members of the board of directors of Juventus, the managers with strategic responsibilities, the auditors of Juventus and the members of the college of auditors of the opinion of conclusion of the Preliminary investigation. According to the prosecution, “the probative framework makes it possible to outline an activity of alteration of the balance sheet items (and therefore of the operating results) as a consequence, first of all, of an abnormal recourse to trading operations of sports performance rights of a large number of athletes, transactions concluded at values determined by the parties in an arbitrary manner and with the aim of satisfying the needs of the balance sheet”.
Several questionable transactions
It is then stated: “These operations were provoked as fictitious, also in the light of the content of the conversations recorded during the investigation (…) Another intervention, aimed at modifying the quantified results, was identified in the so-called wage maneuvers. In the report drawn up by the Turin public prosecutor’s office, we learn that Juventus declared a loss of 39,596,000 euros instead of 84,506,000 euros and a positive net situation, equal to 31,243,000 euros instead of a negative one, equal to 13,367,000 euros. In 2019, she said she lost 89,082,000 euros instead of 230,732,000 euros. In 2020, she said she lost 209,514,000 euros instead of 222,477,000 euros.
The prosecutor also announced that some of the suspects have been charged with the offense of fraudulent misrepresentation following the use of invoices for non-existent transactions. “after revealing how Juventus paid agents sums for services which were not compensated and which, therefore, are deemed to be non-existent, with simultaneous damage to the Treasury due to an undue deduction of the VAT”. It should be added that the players’ salary reduction agreements for the months of March to June 2021 are also being examined by the courts.
Juve play big
This suspects Juventus of several suspicious operations in terms of financial management or transfers. The exchange between Arthur and Pjanic or the CR7 case are observed. Juve has 20 days to bring elements clearing it before the prosecution decides. The FIGC (Italian federation) could also take up the case. Both on the sports field and behind the scenes, the Italian team is definitely having a terrible year and will play very big in the coming days. To be continued…