Juventus could be relegated from Serie A, with the current investigation into the club referred to as the ‘heaviest’ in their history, by an Italian lawyer.
After a long period of dominating Italian football, it has been a lean couple of years for Juventus, who have failed to win the past two league titles.
They’re once again well off the pace in the currently on pause campaign, as are most people, with Napoli 10 points clear of their rivals.
But things off the pitch are now a lot more serious for the Old Lady, after the board of directors all quit, including president Andrea Agnelli, vice-president Pavel Nedved, and managing director Maurizio Arrivabene.
The club are currently under investigation, which led to the resignations, due to some ‘financial regularities’ that are to do with the period around Covid-19.
They allegedly agreed secret deals with their players, and then manager Maurizio Sarri, to pay them three months’ worth of wages, even though they’d publicly agreed to waive wages.
Back in 2006, the club were relegated as part of the Calciopoli scandal, in which they were accused of trying to influence the Italian FA to get more favourable refs.
Now Italian lawyer Mattia Grassani, an expert in sport law, has revealed that the current investigation is ‘more serious’ and could result in a similar punishment.
“This I think is the heaviest investigation in the history of Juventus, even heavier than that of Calciopoli in 2006. The unlawful behaviour they’re accused of has no precedent,” Grassani told radio station Rai1.
“On a sporting level they risk more than the fine or a modest penalty. All this could lead to a heavy penalty because the rule states that if there is alteration of documents, such as private papers, it can lead to consequences greater than a simple penalty.
“The rule states that if the club has entered the season thanks to these expedients, they can be excluded from it, it can lead to relegation and even the loss of Scudetti.”
Juve won the title in 2019/20, the first season that was affected by Covid and saw the league paused part way through for two months, before it returned.
Grassani’s claim is that they could lose that title, as happened in 2006, when they were stripped of both the 2004/05 and 2005/06 titles.
The first one was left not won by any side, after runners up AC Milan were deducted 30 points, whilst the second title was awarded to Inter Milan.
The Turin based side were in the second tier for one season, winning Serie B, before they failed to win the league in Serie A for their first four years on returning, they then won the next nine titles, before the most recent two seasons.
On the current investigation being worse that Calcoppoli, Grassani added, “Then the Juventus system was to pollute the refereeing system from the top. Today, the fact that the same protagonists speak of a situation worse than Calciopoli, shows an awareness of even more serious behaviour than in 2006.
“It is one thing to approach referees, it is another to drug the club’s accounts. This violates competition with other clubs and distorts the regularity of the league. I cannot put capital into the club through Panini stickers or Monopoly cards to alter my situation.”