Juventus is one of the most successful Italian clubs at the local level, and it is the most title-winning club in Italy. But what happened recently to the team may push it into the abyss. So what’s the story?
Last week, the Federal Court of Appeal approved the request of the Prosecutor General of the Italian Football Association, to reactivate the sports trial against Juventus, despite his previous acquittal, along with a number of other Italian clubs. Because there are violations In earning the club’s capital, as well as recent financial practices and alleged secret player payments.
This decision came as a thunderbolt to the fans of the team. But, why was this decision made? And what prompted the Italian Federation to reactivate the sports trial against Juventus?
Report of the Supervising Committee of League Clubs
The story took place between 2019 and 2021, when the Federal Prosecutor decided to open an investigation into a number of transfers of football players in the Italian first division, after the report of the League Clubs Oversight Committee “COVISOC”, regarding the activity of player exchange between clubs.
According to the two Italian newspapers, “La Repubblica and Il Tempo”, the “COVISOC” report examined 62 transfer deals that took place between 2019 and 2021, and capital gains were discussed in these deals, although it was difficult to determine the marketing value of the players included in the swap deals. However, there was suspicion of increasing the marketing value of some players, in an attempt to find a healthy balance.
However, despite all this, the club remains free to dispose of how to determine the value of the player in the way it deems appropriate, if it is through an exchange with other players, or a request for financial returns, large or small, so why check on Juventus specifically?
It is worth noting that the majority of clubs in Italy manipulate player transfer deals for reasons related to their budgets. But only knowledge of manipulation is not definitive evidence unless there is something tangible. Consequently, the clubs can verbally agree among themselves on the value of the deal, and declare what they want after that.
The 62 deals between 2019 and 2021
According to the Italian newspaper “La Gazzetta dello Sport”, Juventus is involved in 42 out of the 62 deals that were considered, in addition to that the “Old Lady” club is a registered financial company (Exor is the company that owns Juventus), and its shares are listed on the stock exchange. This company has shareholders.
And here is Juventus’ big problem. The club, at the end of each year, must submit to the Italian state documents, financial statements, and a budget report, and tampering with this matter is considered deception for investors and the state. Consequently, it will become a crime, and the offense is punishable by law, unlike other clubs that follow up these matters directly with the Italian Football Association.
What happened with Juventus is that the administration was inflating the value of the players’ contracts, whose contracts it wanted to sell. For example, Miralem Pjanic left the 2020-2021 season from Juventus to Barcelona for 60 million euros, while his marketing value, according to the “Transfer Market” website, was 45 million.-
The Italian club signed Arthur Milo from Barcelona for 76 million euros, and the value of his marketing contract amounted to 56 million euros.--
(The majority of clubs in the transfer market resort to the Transfer Market website, which specializes in the marketing value of player contracts).
And the Italian newspapers revealed that these deals fall among the 42 deals that were scrutinized, in addition to many players, among whom there are unknown players, but, as required by the need for budgeting, the Juventus administration was doing.
What is the relationship between the Black Book and the Juventus scandal?
According to “ITALY 24” website, one of the documents, which the Turin investigators focused on, and which the Federal Prosecutor’s Office considered very interesting, is the so-called “FP Black Book”, and the phrase FP refers to “Fabio Paratici”, Fabio Paratici’s black book. .
And the site confirmed that a manuscript is written on paper, written by Federico Cherubini Diese (Paratici’s right hand), who absorbed Paratici’s role with Juventus when he left for Tottenham, in which Cherubini criticizes Paratici’s way of working with Juventus, and wrote, “How did we get here? Meaningless purchases.” In addition to far-fetched investments, like Kulusevski?
After the disclosure of this manuscript, and because the Italian Football Association does not have the authority to audit financial companies except by order of the court, the Italian state, according to Italian reports, resorted to wiretapping the contacts of Juventus club administrators during that period, between 2019 and 2021, which made It was confirmed that there was a manipulation of the value of the deals contrary to what is presented in the financial statements, which prompted the court to reactivate the trial.
And the Federal Court issued a decision, last week, deducting 15 points from Juventus’ balance, in addition to suspending Fabio Paratici, the current sports director of Tottenham, and the former Juventus player, for a period of two and a half years, because of the case. Former club president Andrea Agnelli was suspended for two years, Maurizio Arrivabene, former CEO, for two years, Federico Cherubini, former board member, for a year and 4 months, in addition to Pavel Nedved, former vice president, for 8 months.
The repercussions of the case and its impact on the Italian league
The English newspaper “Daily Mail” confirmed that thousands of Juventus fans canceled their TV subscriptions to watch the “Serie A” league matches, after the court’s decision to deduct 15 points from the team’s balance.
According to the “Daily Mail”, if the number of people who canceled their TV subscriptions reached 500,000 people, the revenue losses would be estimated at 136 million pounds, which is a huge blow to the Italian League, which has long been suffering from multiple financial crises.
How will this case end? Will the Juventus penalty be reviewed by the judiciary? The newspaper “La Gazzetta” confirmed that after about 10 days, the data on which the Italian judiciary relied to punish “Juve” alone will be mentioned.