Agnelli, Juve officials could face false accounting trial

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, vice president Pavel Nedved and CEO Maurizio Arrivabene are among 15 people who could face a trial for alleged false accounting and irregularities in player transfers following a notification from the public prosecutor’s office in Turin.

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. The case is also exploring if investors were misled with invoices being issued for non-existent transactions to demonstrate income that in turn could be deemed false accounting.

The case involves player contracts, transfers and agent dealings between 2018 and 2020.

Juventus said in a statement on Tuesday that it “remains convinced” that it “operated according to the laws and rules that govern financial relations” and complied with “international customs of the football industry.”

Juventus lawyer Maurizio Bellacosa and Agnelli’s lawyer Davide Sangiorgio said that sports courts have already cleared Juventus of wrongdoing on two occasions for the same case and that there is “nothing new” since those decisions were made.

The prosecutor’s office announced on Monday that 16 subjects were under investigation: Juventus and 15 people. A request for home arrest for Agnelli was rejected by a preliminary judge.

Last month, Juventus reported a record loss of 254.3 million euros ($246 million) for the 2021-22 financial year. It was the fifth consecutive year that Juventus reported a loss, and it was 44.4 million euros ($43 million) more than in 2020-21.

Juventus, the record 36-time Italian champion, has also struggled on the field recently after a record run of nine straight Serie A titles from 2012 to 2020. Juventus finished fourth the past two seasons and is currently placed eighth in Serie A.

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