Juventus is one of the most famous football clubs globally, with many iconic players passing through over the years helping to fill trophy cabinets aplenty. However, away from the pitch, the Italian giants have been caught up in scandals, and history could very much be about to repeat itself with the club’s offices being raided recently.
To begin, we turn back the clock to 2006, where a match-fixing scandal known in Italy as Calciopoli was uncovered. Games in Serie A, Italy’s top flight, and Serie B had been the subject of fixing, with Juventus one of several outfits involved.
General managers Antonio Giraudo and Luciano Moggi had their telephone conversations with Italian football officials who had influence over referee appointments recorded during the 2004/05 campaign, and they were later published in the media.
The punishment for Juventus was significant, with the club being relegated to Serie B, a hefty points deduction, a fine of €75,000 and they were stripped of two Serie A titles. However, Juve, as you will expect, came roaring back. And, five years after making it back to the top flight, they went on to record a stunning nine consecutive league titles, leaving the dark days of the past in their wake.
Fast forward to the present day, and senior figures at the club, which include chairman Andrea Agnelli, vice-chairman Pavel Nedved who also played for the club, Stefano Cerrato, who is the Chief Financial Officers, and many more, are under investigation after questions were asked of player trading between 2019 and 2021.
According to lead prosecutor Anna Maria Loreto, the authorities are investigating whether investors received false communication from senior officials and if invoices for transactions that didn’t occur had been actioned. In addition, it is thought that Italy’s Federal Prosecutor is checking out multiple transfers in Serie A.
The question now is whether Juventus, currently priced at 6/4 to win Serie A with Bwin, can survive another scandal. Massimiliano Allegri’s men are well of the pace in the race for honours down in seventh at the time of writing, but even with all the drama circling the club, they have managed to win three of their last four games, keeping clean sheets in all three victories.
And they have done this while the likes of Giorgio Chiellini, Danilo, Mattia De Sciglio, Weston McKennie, Aaron Ramsey and Federico Chiesa are all out injured. So, you could say it’s a case of so far so good, and the team continue to get positive results regardless of events off the pitch.
However, if the current investigations turn up wrongdoings by senior officials, and punishments such as transfer embargoes and points deductions are imposed, it could prove to be a long way back for Juventus, regardless of them having made the same arduous trip previously. And, again, it would be another dark day for Italian football with corruption at the core.