Italian court clears Juve of doping its balance sheet with over-inflated transfer deals

money and football

April 19 – Juventus and other clubs have been acquitted by Italy’s Federal Court following a widespread investigation into the inflation of transfer fees. 

In a short statement, the Italian FA (FIGC) said that “the reasons (for the acquittal) will be announced in the coming days.” The court cleared all eleven clubs under investigation: Juventus, Napoli, Genoa, Empoli and Sampdoria from Serie A, Pisa and Parma from Serie B, Pro Vercelli and Pescara from Lega Pro, and two clubs who are now defunct – Novara and Chievo.

Juventus president  Andrea Agnelli, current Tottenham Hotspur managing director Fabio Paratici and Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentii were among the 58 high-ranking football officials cleared by the court.

Italian prosecutors had asked for a range of punishments that included a ban from football of 16 months for Paratici, and a fine of £800,000 for Juventus.

Italian authorities began investigating dozens of transfers, suspecting clubs of applying accounting practices that broke the law. The $81 million dollar transfer of Lille’s Victor Osimhen to Napoli as well as the swap between FC Barcelona’s Arthur Melo and Juventus’ Miralem Pjanic were among the player moves investigated.

The deals allowed the clubs involved to improve their annual financial accounts through capital gains, a practice that became common across European football during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The National Federal Court chaired by Carlo Sica has acquitted all the companies, managers and administrators of the clubs that had been referred by the Federal Prosecutor for having accounted for capital gains and rights to the services of players for values in the financial reports exceeding those permitted by accounting principles,” read the FIGC statement.

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