UEFA opens probe into alleged Juve financial fraud

December 2 – UEFA has opened an investigation into Juventus over the alleged financial fraud that has seen Juve’s board resign and a series of indictments issued against them by Italian authorities.

The UEFA probe will be conducted by the Club Financial Control Body First Chamber (CFCB) who will look for potential breaches of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.

UEFA said the investigation “will focus on the alleged financial violations that were recently made public as a result of the proceedings led by the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission (CONSOB) and the public prosecutor in Turin.”

During the investigation UEFA said it will “will cooperate with national authorities”.

In August the CFCB First Chamber concluded a three-year settlement agreement with Juventus and a number of other clubs for breaches of financial fair play rules. That settlement was made on the basis of the financial information submitted for the financial years closing in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

UEFA will now look to see to if the information they had when reaching that settlement is “significantly different” and whether “new and substantial facts arise or become known”. If they do, UEFA said it “reserves the right to terminate the settlement agreement, take any legal step it may deem appropriate, and impose disciplinary measures in accordance with the applicable UEFA CFCB Procedural Rules.”

The entire board of Juventus, including chairman Andrea Agnelli, resigned at the end of last month, plunging one of the world’s most famous clubs into crisis.

Their resignations followed a preliminary investigation by the Turin Public Prosecutor’s Office into fraudulent accounting around alleged hidden payments to players.

Prosecutors have been investigating since last year whether Juventus, which is listed on the Milan stock exchange, cashed in on illegal commissions from transfer and loans of players. Agnelli, vice president Pavel Nedved and CEO Maurizio Arrivabene are among 15 people who could potentially face trial.

There is no love lost between the UEFA hierarchy and Juventus (and Agnelli in particular), who UEFA feel betrayed the trust of European football generally in their promotion and pursuit of the riches that a European Super League could provide them. Juve, Barcelona and Real Madrid have refused to give up that ambition though Juventus’ credibility as a partner again questions the morality of the partners and their plan.

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