Juventus crisis

At the end of November, in an event which was described as an ‘’earthquake’’ by the Italian media, Juventus suffered the most traumatic day in their history since the 2006 Calciopoli scandal. So what was it, and what does it mean for the club’s future?

In this blog, we are going to talk about the repercussions of the Juventus board’s actions a couple of years ago, with a special reference to the transfer dealings and differed wages during the peak of the pandemic. Make sure to read our other blogs on the LV BET Sports Blog; we are sure that you will find something that piques your interest.

Juventus Finances 

Pretty much the whole of the Serie A has had a tough time dealing with the effects of the pandemic; empty stadiums really dented the financial income of the teams. It’s the resignation of Agnelli from the board that really put a target on the club. Agnelli had been at the helm at Juventus for 12 years, overseeing one of the best periods in Juve’s history, winning consecutive championships and reaching the final of the Champions League a handful of times as well. So how did a club that had been doing so well for so long crumble all of a sudden?

Let’s take a closer look at the finances of the club. In late 2021 a second capital increase in three years was done as new shares were issued for a combined €700m to stabilise the club’s finances amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. In the prospectus regarding the recapitalisation, Juventus were obliged, as a company listed on the Euronet stock exchange, to disclose that the club will be subject to inspection by Italy’s financial regulator CONSOB over revenues from players and registration rights. 

COVISOC, who is responsible for supervising the football industry in Italy, had passed on a report to the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) highlighting 62 transfers from the previous two years. The FIGC’s commissioner was invited to take a closer look and consider whether the fees involved were inflated or not. A good portion of those 62 transfers were made by Juventus, 42 to be exact – the most eye-catching ones were the swap of Miralem Pjanic for Barcelona’s Arthur Melo. 

In April 2022, the FIGC came to the conclusion that Juventus FC did not fall foul of any regulations and thus cleared Juventus and the other 10 implicated clubs from any wrongdoing. The reason is that the prosecutor’s case was undermined as the investigation leaned on the widely-used but unofficial website named ‘Transfermarkt’ as a means to get the valuation for transfers and what they actually are worth at the time of the transfer. Should that have been the only investigation conducted into Juve’s financial records, the Turin-based team could have been cleared. 

That was not the case, a parallel investigation was launched called PRISMA by the public prosecutor’s office of the court of Turin. PRISMA investigated the allegations of false accounting, false financial statements alongside market manipulation. The ‘Guardia di Finanza’ a police team in Italy, placed 16 people under investigation, including Agnelli, vice-president Pavel Nedved and Juventus’ former chief football office Fabio Paratici, who is now managing director of football at Premier League Club Tottenham Hotspurs. 

The investigation also found a huge discrepancy in the financial results of 2019, 2020 and 2021, and also of interest were the arrangement made with the club’s players during the pandemic. A statement in March 2020 announced Juventus would approximately save €90m after a handful of their players accepted a wage reduction equal to their pay for the months of March, April, May and June that year. The investigators allege that the players waived only one month’s pay and that the financial markets were misled by the club’s statement.

But this is not Calciopoli 2.0; this is a financial story about how a club listed on the stock exchange reported their financial results. It’s about player trading and payroll and how the club reacted to financial pressures, principally the pandemic. 


The FIGC announced that Juventus would be deducted 15 points for ‘’financial irregularities’’ and ‘’false accounting’’ in relation to historic transfer dealings – the exchange of players between clubs. This will hamper their progress in this Serie A season and will impact them financially for the upcoming season if they do not qualify for any European competition. This penalty will impact the club for this season, whilst other investigations are still yet to produce other penalties, potentially impacting the club in the upcoming season. 

A good portion of the fans of the ‘’Old Lady’’ will feel hard done by the decision, feeling that they are victims of their own success. The reason that such a heavy penalty was handed out was that when the club is listed on the stock exchange, the consequence of financial wrongdoing is penalised much harder than if the club is not listed. There are more talks surrounding the club that they might be excluded from participating in European competitions for a couple of years or even banned from conducting any transfers. This is a dynamic situation, and the investigation is still ongoing despite the 15 points deduction, so it might get worse for the Italian giants. 

Psychological impact on the remainder of this season

Juventus started the season with renewed hope that Max Allegri will once again guide them to the top of Serie A. Signings such as Dusan Vlahovic, the return of Paul Pogba from Manchester United and stealing Bremer away from Inter, continued to boost morale in Turin. 

As the season progressed, the situation was not as at first thought, Juventus struggled to maintain pace and ended up in the midtable positions. Being eliminated from the group stages of the Champions League does not help, especially financially. 

Their latest loss to Monza last weekend shows that the team is not mentally in a place where they can compete. Their headspace is pretty much occupied with the situation around the club and, more importantly, their future at the club. As professional players who play in Serie A, playing with Juventus guarantees a certain level of competition, fighting for the title and fighting against some of the best teams in Europe, now if you remove that competitiveness, the appeal of Juventus starts to fade. 

Already, Weston McKennie has been sold off to Leeds for a figure of €35 + €5 add-ons, a starting point that could see other players search for a more stable alternative. 

What are your thoughts on the topic: Should Juventus be given harsher penalties? Is Juventus the only club being penalised for something that most of the Serie A does? What are your predictions on Juventus for the end of the season? 

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