The UEFA opens an investigation into Juventus as the club’s problems grow

On Thursday, UEFA opened an investigation into Juventus after it was revealed that the Turin prosecutor had demanded indictments for former president Andrea Agnelli and ten other former board members.

Indictments have been requested for former vice president Pavel Nedved and CEO Maurizio Arrivabene – who left the club Monday when Agnelli and the board of directors resigned. Former Juventus sport director Fabio Paratici, who’s now at Tottenham, is also on the list.

A formal investigation has been opened into Juventus for possible violations of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations by the CFCB (Club Financial Control Body).

According to UEFA, the investigation will focus on the alleged financial violations that were uncovered in the proceedings led by the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission and the public prosecutor in Turin.

UEFA’s investigation unit is headed by Sunil Gulati, the former USSF president and Columbia University economics lecturer.

A settlement agreement was reached with Juventus in August to avoid more serious sanctions for violations of UEFA’s financial monitoring rules, but UEFA said on Thursday that the settlement agreement could be revoked.

UEFA said that if the club’s financial situation differs significantly from what was assessed by the CFCB First Chamber at the time of the settlement agreement or if new and substantial facts emerge or become known, the CFCB First Chamber may terminate the settlement agreement, take legal action, and impose disciplinary measures.

It said it would work with the Italian authorities, who will announce a preliminary hearing date within the next week when they’ll decide whether to indict and proceed.

Juuventus says, “the accounting treatment in the contested financial statements falls within the limits of applicable accounting principles” and it came to that conclusion “based on a solid set of opinions by top lawyers and accountants.”

In a lengthy statement, Juventus said: “Juventus remains convinced that it has always acted correctly, and intends to defend its corporate, economic, and sporting interests everywhere.”

Prosecutors are investigating whether Juventus cashed in on illegal commissions from transfers and loans. It’s also exploring if investors were misled by invoices being issued for non-existent transactions to show income, which is considered false accounting.

Contracts, transfers, and agent deals between 2018 and 2020 are at issue.

Juventus said 23 players agreed to cut their salaries for four months during the pandemic to help the club. Prosecutors claim the players only gave up a month’s pay.

Turin prosecutors have also found more secret payments Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t report to Juventus.

The Milan stock exchange also exposes Juventus to CONSOB’s regulatory scrutiny. According to leaks to the Italian media, the club’s CFO Stefano Cerrato said they’d “razzle-dazzle” the regulators with fancy words if CONSOB questioned their moves.

Juventus shares traded flat on Thursday after closing at 0.2738 euros down 1.16% on Tuesday.

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