ROME: Juventus have been handed a 10-point deduction in a new ruling by an Italian court investigating the club’s transfer dealings.
Before the new ruling, Juventus were in second place behind Serie A champions Napoli with 69 points, but drop down to seventh place as a result, five points off a Champions League place.
The decision was announced within moments of the club’s Monday night game at Empoli kicking off – and perhaps influenced by the news, Juventus’ three-game winning run was brought to a crashing halt by a 4-1 defeat to their mid-table hosts. That result, combined with the new sanctions, leaves their top-four hopes all but over.
During a three-hour hearing on Monday, federation prosecutor Giuseppe Chine requested an 11-point penalty for Juventus. He had asked for nine back in January.
Chine also requested eight-month bans for seven former Juventus directors, including Pavel Nedved, but all were exonerated by the Federal Court of Appeals. The ex-Juve winger and the rest of the club’s board had resigned en masse in November amid the allegations.
Fabio Paratici, who resigned his position as Tottenham’s director of football earlier this year due to a worldwide football ban linked to the scandal, has not been cleared. Former chairman Agnelli and two others also had appeals against their charges rejected last month.
An official ruling read: “The Federal Court of Appeals hereby absolves Pavel Nedved, Paolo Garimberti, Assia Grazioli Venier, Caitlin Mary Hughes, Daniela Marilungo, Francesco Roncaglio, and Enrico Vellano from the alleged offences and imposes a 10-point deduction on Juventus in the standings, to be applied for the current season.”
In January, Juventus were deducted 15 Serie A points for alleged financial irregularities and false accounting, but it was later lifted.
Juventus said in a statement: “Juventus Football Club takes note of what was decided by the FIGC Court of Appeal and reserves the right to read the reasons to evaluate a possible appeal to the Guarantee Board at CONI.
“What was established by the fifth instance of judgment in this matter, which began more than a year ago, arouses great bitterness in the club and in its millions of supporters who, in the absence of clear rules, find themselves extremely penalised with the application of sanctions that seem to take into account the principle of proportionality.
“While not ignoring the need for urgency, which Juventus has never shied away from during the proceedings, it is emphasised that these are facts that still have to be evaluated by a judge.”