Crisis hit Italian giants Juventus have finally had some good news after it was sensationally revealed that their 15-point deduction in Serie A has been overturned.
The Old Lady had been hit with the sanction after being charged with financial irregularities, with evidence captured by undercover police and wire taps confirming that a number of senior figures at the club had discussed the false reporting of transfer fees – a scenario that would see Fabio Paratici, who became the sporting director at Tottenham, banned from football.
The 15-point penalty saw Juventus drop from third in the league table to seventh, which threatened their ever-present run in the Champions League since 2011.
But despite being guilty after a three-year investigation, Italian football authorities have now called for the case to be re-opened – granting Juventus a temporary, or perhaps even permanent, stay of execution.
Curiously, the facts of the investigation will now be re-examined at the appeals court of the Italian Football Federation – the same body that originally docked Juventus 15 points in the first place.
Their findings were that the club cooked their books by posting ‘artificial gains’ of up to €60 million (£53 million) from their transfer dealings; hence the point deduction.
But Juventus took their case to the Olympic Committee, an Italian high court that adjudicates on sporting matters. Although they didn’t clear Juve of the charges, they did declare that the 15-point deduction initially handed out was illegitimate.
It’s generally accepted that Juventus have done wrong and will be punished in some way, but the club’s current chief football officer remains bullish. Francesco Calvo commented:
“As of today, we finally have certainty and we expect that the points that have been given back to us will remain with us forever.”
Meanwhile, a UEFA probe into Juventus’ alleged financial fair play breaches continues.
As part of the list of sanctions dished out to the club by the Italian Football Federation, eleven club directors and senior officials were hit with bans preventing them from working in football.
The likes of former president Andrea Agnelli, club legend Pavel Nedved and sporting director Federico Cherubini were all initially punished as part of the case, as was Fabio Paratici – he would leave Juventus to take up a senior position at Tottenham in the midst of the chaos.
Many of the group appealed against their suspensions and some were successful – Nedved, Enrico Vellano and Paolo Garimberti among them, but Paratici’s own appeal has fallen on deaf ears.
So his two-and-a-half year ban from Italian football, which was subsequently extended worldwide following intervention from FIFA, has been upheld.
Paratici immediately took a leave of absence after FIFA’s decision to block him from working in the beautiful game, and after hearing that his appeal had been turned down the Italian issued his resignation to the London club earlier today.
“The current worldwide ban prevents Fabio from fulfilling his duties as our Managing Director of Football,” a statement from Spurs reads.
“Fabio has consequently taken the decision to resign from his position at the club with immediate effect to focus on his legal position in respect of the FIGC and FIFA rulings.”