Juventus Facing 15-Point Deduction Following False Bookkeeping Scandal

The Italian soccer giant Juventus has been a mainstay in Serie A and European competitions for the better half of the last 100 years.  To date, Juventus has won Serie A 36 times with nine of those being won in the last 12 years. Juventus has also won the Union of European Football Associations’ (UEFA) Champions League on two occasions, and have been runners-up twice in the last 8 years.

The club’s reputation has now been called into question. In late January, Juventus was given a 15-point penalty for false accounting. Juventus were acquitted of any wrongdoing in April 2022 following an investigation into their bookkeeping. However, following an appeal in December, Juventus were subjected to the penalties they are now facing. Balancing bookkeeping has become a hallmark of European soccer conduct following UEFA’s introduction of Financial Fair Play regulations in order to offset any egregious capital gains by clubs in its jurisdiction. The Italian Football Federation’s (FIGC) prosecutors requested a 9-point reduction for Juventus’ false bookkeeping.

This penalty has adversely impacted Juventus’ title charge, as they were only 10 points behind the leaders, Napoli, and have now dropped out of the European competition qualifying spots for Serie A. While this may seem a rather trivial punishment for such an offence, the implications on Juventus for the upcoming season are significant. The 15-point deduction will likely put them substantively outside the race for the league title this season. Additionally, Juventus may not qualify for Champions League, Europa League, or UEFA Conference League. These tournaments not only bring prestige and honour to clubs who qualify, but also the revenue opportunities that come with playing on European soccer’s biggest stages.

What makes this story more interesting is that Juventus was penalized before for their unethical conduct rather recently. Juventus had points deducted in the 2006-2007 Serie A season due to their involvement in the Calciopoli scandal. The Calciopoli scandal was a match-fixing scandal that greatly impacted Italian soccer and led to the indictment of several top clubs and officials. Juventus was found guilty of attempting to influence the appointment of referees for their matches and were stripped of their 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles. Juventus was also removed from Serie A and subsequently demoted to Serie B.

In addition to these sanctions, Juventus was also docked nine points for the 2006-2007 Serie A season, which started with them playing in Serie B. Despite the point deduction, Juventus managed to finish the season in third place and gain promotion back to Serie A for the following season. Due to this new scandal relating to Juventus’ false bookkeeping, they may face consequences similar to what the club experienced in 2007. If new information surfaces pertaining to greater scandal Juventus may have been part of in the game itself, rather than just bookkeeping, possible title strippings and relegation action may be considered, which would be consistent with how Juventus has been disciplined in the past. For now, it is a matter of waiting for Juventus supporters and Serie A fans alike.

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