How Juventus lost 15 points at Secretariat (and how it could get worse)

On Sunday night time, a banner exterior the stadium welcomed everybody coming to look at the Juventus-Atlanta match. “Serie A or Serie B, we’re at all times right here for Juventus FC.” It was considered one of many expressions of supporters’ discontent within the wake of a brand new scandal that has not gone away. Juventus had been doomed to drop 15 points within the league, dropping to ninth place. A draw with Atalanta (3-3) means they now have 23 points and, though coach Massimiliano Allegri has tried to look forward by redoing the maths, the state of affairs stays bleak. And it can get worse.

As the membership prepares to enchantment this primary punishment, along with the judicial investigation that led to the method, additional proceedings are underway at the Court of Sports, which can make a preliminary choice at the tip of March. And there may be nonetheless an ongoing investigation by UEFA over non-compliance with monetary truthful play. 17 years after the “Calciopoli”, which resulted within the administrative descent of the division, the Turin giants discover themselves concerned in a course of with very totally different varieties, however which has already shaken the complete construction of the membership and threatens to have additional penalties. What these might be and whether or not they’ll have ramifications for different golf equipment will grow to be clear within the coming months.

The investigation facilities on suspicions of manipulation of accounts to cover losses. The case got here to gentle in November 2021 after an Italian choose searched Juventus amenities. The “Prisma” investigation, in control of the Turin prosecutor’s workplace, was launched in May and, in accordance with officers, sought to analyze the crimes of “false reporting and issuance of invoices by listed corporations” for non-existent transactions throughout 2019. and 2021, to analyze these “varied switch operations {of professional} gamers and providers offered by sure brokers concerned in them”.

A strategy of 14 thousand pages

The investigation by the Turin prosecutor’s workplace is linked to a different, performed by Consob, the Italian authority for regulating capital markets, which additionally targeted on suspected fictitious capital features and questioned dozens of transfers, most of them involving Juventus and its managers, however different golf equipment, resembling that Napoli. It was from there that the primary proceedings had been initiated by the Court of Justice, which resulted within the acquittal of these concerned in April 2022. The choice was confirmed in May by the Italian federation’s highest disciplinary physique, citing, amongst different elements, that there is no such thing as a goal methodology to evaluate the worth of gamers and transfers, so it shouldn’t be doable to achieve conclusions about doable fraud.

But the judicial investigation at the Turin prosecutor’s workplace continued, focusing solely on Juventus. The investigation resulted in a 14,000-page course of, which included the gathering of paperwork but additionally the interception and interception of messages between a number of Juventus leaders at the time. It has many features, all associated to potential monetary irregularities. On the one hand, the so-called capital features are suspected to be capital features by means of inflated transfers of gamers. On the opposite hand, the case concerning the cuts in gamers’ salaries introduced by Juventus in 2020 throughout the Covid epidemic, can be suspected to be a ploy aimed at artificially bettering the membership’s accounts.

Player wages and the “Carta Ronaldo”

Many particulars of the investigation had been revealed within the Italian press, together with an estimate of 155 million fictitious capital features at stake and calculations of doubtful transactions such because the switch of Portuguese Joao Cancelo to Manchester City or the change of Pjanic by Arthur. With Barcelona. Over the previous yr, a number of items beneath investigation have additionally been revealed.

The choose additionally heard a number of gamers in reference to the pay minimize case. In the press, Chiellini’s alleged testimony was additionally revealed, wherein the previous Juventus captain admitted that, regardless of studies that the gamers had accepted a four-month pay minimize as a result of pandemic, it was agreed that the gamers would pay. Only as much as one month, the remaining quantity might be acquired later. A doc thought-about key to the investigation was the “Carta Ronaldo”, a “secret” doc wherein Juve promised the Portuguese participant round 20 million and which might verify the thesis of deferred funds. Last week, “Corriere della Sera” claimed to have the letter and that it was signed by the then director Fabio Parazzi, however not by Cristiano Ronaldo.

The finish of the Andrea Agnelli period and the financial decline

The siege round Juventus tightened and at the tip of November 2022 the board headed by Andrea Agnelli resigned from the bloc. It was the tip of an period. Agnelli has led the membership since 2010 and all through that interval Juventus have invested closely and managed to steer the sport internally, however haven’t achieved the primary aim of successful the Champions League. Despite successive capital will increase by dad or mum firm Exor, managed by the Agnelli household, the membership’s funds deteriorated. Last yr, Juventus introduced a file lack of 254 million euros.

The director’s departure didn’t diminish the deal with authorized points surrounding Juventus. In December 2022, the Sports Court determined to ask for a reopening of the case towards the membership, claiming new information because of the judicial investigation. The reopening of the case was introduced Friday night time.

After the Federal Prosecutor’s Office requested for a nine-point penalty for Juventus, the Court of Appeal determined to extend the penalty, eradicating 15 points this season. In addition, he imposed a number of suspensions, together with the vp of the membership, Andrea Agnelli or Pavel Nedved, but additionally two lively administrators: Fabio Parazzi, who’s at present the director of (*15*), and Federico Cherubini, the sporting director of Juventus. On the opposite hand, the opposite golf equipment concerned and their administrators – Sampdoria, Pro Vercelli, Genoa, Parma, Pisa, Empoli, Novara and Pescara – had been acquitted. Napoli had been now not concerned within the course of, however solely golf equipment related to suspected dealings with Juventus.

The following process

The choice considerations solely one of many ongoing proceedings in sports activities justice. There are two extra, choices anticipated quickly. One of them is said to gamers’ wages. Another is extra suspicious of hypothetical capital features, involving different golf equipment within the enterprise, together with Juventus.

As for the judicial investigation, a call might be made on March 27 whether or not to press prison prices towards the membership and its former leaders.

Finally, after the entire scandal, UEFA additionally opened an investigation final December to analyze “doable violations” of the foundations of economic truthful play at Juventus. Last August, the membership signed a contract with the European physique, which it now agrees to void and impose extra disciplinary sanctions if it concludes that the assumptions of that contract have been modified.

The causes for the punishment, which resulted in a 15-point loss to Juventus and the acquittal of the opposite golf equipment concerned, usually are not but recognized. The membership’s legal professionals communicate of “unequal therapy” and there are numerous voices questioning the truth that solely Juventus is being blamed for a apply that many different golf equipment comply with. «We should perceive that this methodology is utilized by many golf equipment, this drawback is important. Should be solved as soon as and for all and for everybody», former participant Claudio Marchisio advised RAI, for instance, “Those accountable should act on this drawback, which we’re seeing not solely in Italy but additionally in Europe.”

The course of is predicated on a variety of information that points to a scientific apply of manipulating accounts by Juventus, and revelations made within the press level to the concept that the membership’s managers have “self-condemned” the illegality. Reinforcing this concept, a sentence from Stefano Bertola, Juve’s former monetary supervisor, was heard and revealed: “In the final 15 years, solely Calciopoli has been this dangerous. At that point we had been attacked from all sides. But this time we made it.”

After studying the explanations for the punishment, Juventus has one month to file an enchantment with the Italian Olympic Committee’s Sports Guarantee College. This physique doesn’t consider the method itself, however solely doable defects within the type, and may verify or cancel the sentence.

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