Juventus Deducted 15 Points As Former Club Officials Receive Bans

Juventus Deducted 15 Points As Former Club Officials Receive Bans

No sooner had Juventus appointed their new board this week, than the Bianconeri were back in the news after the Italian FA deducted them 15 points and handed out bans to a number of former club officials.

Indeed, confirmation of new Chairman Gianluca Ferrero and Chief Executive Officer Maurizio Scanavino only arrived on Wednesday – as this previous column detailed – while this latest ruling came just 48 hours later.

It stemmed from an appeal by Juventus against an investigation into inflated player transfer fees reported previously in this column. That saw authorities in Italy look into a number of player transfers that took place between 2019 and 2021, with the belief that the club was registering unrealistic figures as a plusvalenza.

Technically that is the Italian word for “capital gains,” an accounting term for the profit earned on the sale of an asset like stocks, bonds or real estate, usually used to describe the difference between the (higher) selling price and (lower) cost price of a particular asset.

All clubs involved were initially acquitted, only for it to then be revealed that the Italian government had begun investigating claims that members of the Juventus first team squad were paid off the books during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The authority responsible for regulating the Italian securities market, known as CONSOB, discovered that a number of players had signed agreements to reduce their salaries in order to help the club through that extremely difficult period but were allegedly actually given that money “in the black.”

As was detailed in this follow up column, that would mean that the players and the club avoided paying tax on those sums, while the club would have also falsified their books. That would be classified as financial fraud given that Juventus are a publicly traded company with legal obligations to the stock market, any evidence of this would be classified as financial fraud.

During that investigation, wiretaps were uncovered that allegedly caught a number of directors discussing the very deals of that original plusvalenza case, which was then reopened against only Juve.

Ultimately, that all led to Friday’s news that the club would be handed a 15-point deduction, as well as bans for the key figures involved. Former President Andrea Agnelli and ex-CEO Maurizio Arrivabene were each handed two-year bans, while Sporting Director Federicio Cherubini was given 16-months.

While former Vice President Pavel Nedved received an eight-month ban, the harshest suspension was given to Fabio Paratici – now at Tottenham – who was given a sentence of 30 months.

Furthermore, the Prosecutor requested that the bans be upheld by the world governing body (FIFA) and the European governing body (UEFA
) which could see Paratici’s role in the Premier
League come under threat.

Juventus immediately released a statement via their official website announcing “an appeal to the Sport Guarantee Board (Collegio di Garanzia dello Sport) in accordance with the terms of the Sport Justice Code.”

The reasons for such a severe penalty will likely be revealed in the next 10 days, but it is important to remember that the points deductions and the bans were the result of a Juventus appeal.

That is why, despite the fact that two sides must agree on a transfer fee, no other club has been punished at this time. It is for this reason that those celebrating Juve’s demise should do so cautiously, as if the sentence is upheld, it sets a legal precedent that can then be the standard by which those other clubs are then prosecuted.

Of course, this is only the beginning for the Bianconeri, who will still have to face the Prisma investigation into those wages paid during the pandemic and the subsequent alleged financial fraud.

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