Juve Pay the Price for FFP Missteps
In a landmark decision, UEFA has ousted Juventus from the current season’s Europa Conference League. The famed Italian club’s apparent breach of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations has led to this stringent action. Juventus have also been slapped with a hefty £17.14m fine.
Financial Football Foul: Chelsea Also Caught in FFP Breach
UEFA has stretched its disciplinary arm towards the Premier League as well, levying fines against Chelsea FC. This fine, amounting to £8.57m, comes in light of the club allegedly “submitting incomplete financial information”.
A Flashback to Transactions Between 2012 and 2019
UEFA has clarified that this grave matter pertains to transactions occurring between 2012 and 2019. The Blues and the Bianconeri have landed in hot water over their dealings during this period.
A Glimmer of Hope Amidst Financial Strain
Despite the grim scenario, Juventus has been granted a conditional reprieve. Should the club’s financial records over the next three years align with UEFA’s regulations, they will only have to shell out half of their £17.14m fine.
Meanwhile, Chelsea has agreed to clear their settlement figure, which stems from a seven-year period under former owner Roman Abramovich.
From Russia to America: Chelsea’s Changing Fortunes
Chelsea has spent approximately £600m on 19 new players since Todd Boehly took the reins in May 2022. Despite the prodigious spending under the new owner, the fine relates to the era of Abramovich’s control.
UEFA noted, “Following the club’s sale in May 2022, the new ownership identified, and proactively reported to UEFA, instances of potentially incomplete financial reporting under the club’s previous ownership.”
Fiorentina in the Frame to Replace Juventus in European Competition
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) is now tasked with communicating the club that will step into Juve’s shoes in the third-tier European competition. The likely candidate is Fiorentina, who had an impressive run last season, finishing eighth in Serie A.
A Series of Fines and Penalties Haunt Juventus
This penalty against Juventus adds to the growing list of financial and competitive blows for the club. Last season, they were docked 10 Serie A points following a hearing into their past transfer dealings. Additionally, a €718,000 fine was imposed as part of a settlement agreement over payment of player salaries.
Despite initially receiving a 15-point penalty in January, which was later overturned and ordered for reassessment, Juventus would have secured a fourth-place finish and a Champions League spot had they not been penalised.
A Tough Pill to Swallow
Juve’s president, Gianluca Ferrero, expressed his disappointment with UEFA’s verdict, despite accepting the decision without lodging an appeal. He stated, “We regret the decision of the Uefa. We do not share the interpretation that has been given of our defence, and we remain firmly convinced of the legitimacy of our actions and the validity of our arguments.”
Looking Ahead Amidst Uncertainty
The punishments endured by Juventus mark a significant setback for the club, culminating in the first miss-out on European football since 2011-12. Key officials including former vice-chair Pavel Nedved and sporting director Fabio Paratici, who moved to Tottenham, have been fined by FIGC. Yet, amidst the turmoil, Juventus have initiated a significant management overhaul and expressed their intent to withdraw from the European Super League project, signalling a new chapter in their rich history.