Agnelli and Juve officials could face bogus accounting lawsuit

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

Prosecutors have been investigating since last year whether Juventus, which is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, collected illegal commissions on player transfers and loans. The case also explores whether investors were misled by invoices issued for non-existent transactions to demonstrate revenue which, in turn, could be considered false accounting.

The case concerns player contracts, transfers and agent transactions between 2018 and 2020.

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

Juventus lawyer Maurizio Bellacosa and Agnelli’s lawyer Davide Sangiorgio said sports courts had already cleared Juventus of wrongdoing twice over the same matter and that there was ” nothing new” since these decisions were made.

The prosecution announced on Monday that 16 subjects were under investigation: Juventus and 15 people. A request for house arrest for Agnelli was rejected by an investigating judge.

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

Juventus, the record 36-time Italian champions, have also struggled on the pitch recently after a record run of nine consecutive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2020. Juventus have finished fourth in the past two seasons and is currently ranked eighth in Serie A.

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