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Juventus: Prosecutors call for club’s board to face trial

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    37 minutes ago

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Prosecutors in northern Italy have called for the former boss of Juventus football club, Andrea Agnelli, and another 11 ex-board members to go on trial for false accounting.

The entire board resigned on Monday in what the club said was the company’s best interest.

Andrea Agnelli was president of Juventus for 12 years during which time the club ran up record losses.

The Serie A club denies any wrongdoing but also faces indictment.

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It said the public prosecutors’ allegations did not appear to be substantiated: “The accounting treatment adopted in the contested financial statements falls within those allowed by applicable accounting principles.”

“Juventus FC remains convinced that it has always acted correctly and intends to assert its reasons and defend its corporate, economic and sporting interests in all forums,” the statement concluded.

Among the other board members facing indictment are former vice-president Pavel Nedved and ex-chief executive Maurizio Arrivabene.

Hours after the prosecutors’ announcement, Juventus’s problems appeared to deepen when European football’s governing body, Uefa, announced it was opening an investigation into potential breaches of club licensing and financial fair play regulations.

It was last year that an investigation was launched into allegations of artificial gains made from club transfers or loans from 2018-2020, as well as alleged false accounting information provided to investors relating to transactions that are suspected of never happening.

In November 2021, police from Italy’s Guardia di Finanza raided Juventus’s headquarters in Turin.

The inquiry ended in October with prosecutors alleging that the club’s losses were far higher than it had declared in the three seasons from 2018-2020, with a loss of €239m (£204m) in 2019 rather than the stated €89m.

Last season Juventus declared a record loss of €254.3m.

Italian reports refer to allegations of millions of euros made in artificial capital gains as well as fictitious savings made from players’ salary cuts.

Juventus said at the start of the coronavirus pandemic that 23 players had agreed to reduced wages for four months, but prosecutors say it lasted only one month.

Italian market regulator Consob also took part in the inquiry because Juventus is listed on the Milan stock exchange.

In its statement, Juventus argued that Consob made no mention of false accounting and put the value of capital gains far lower than prosecutors.

It said the nine-member board had come to a unanimous conclusion that the prosecutors’ allegations “did not appear to be founded” and that the club had always acted correctly.

The club is still controlled by the Agnelli family’s Exor holding group, which has proposed corporate adviser Gianluca Ferrero to take over as chairman.

During Andrea Agnelli’s term as president, Juventus won nine Serie A titles in a row but were never able to win the prized Champions League. The club paid €100m to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in 2018.

The former Juventus boss was one of the leading figures behind a failed attempt to set up a European Super League last year.

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