Explaining Juventus Transfer chaos


Due to made-up capital gains and market manipulation, the Italian Football Federation, or FIGC, recently handed Juventus a 15-point penalty. It knocked Juve down to 10th with 22 points, twelve points away from Conference League football.

It’s the biggest Juventus scandal since Calciopoli, where sporting director Luciano Moggi and the Juve board conspired to influence referee assignments and subsequently the results on the pitch.

The scandal resulted in an automatic relegation to Serie B for Juve(along with other sides) and subsequently the loss of many star players(including Zlatan Ibrahimovic).

The news comes after Andrea Agnelli and the entirety of the Bianconeri board of directors resigned during the World Cup. Despite his resignation, he still faces cases of false accounting, along with a handful of other Italian personalities.

Juventus’s Financial Scandal

Explaining Juventus Transfer chaos

Suspicion about Juve’s trickery in the transfer market arose with multiple swap deals in 2019 and 2020. Juve reported transfers like Joao Cancelo($70 million), Leonardo Bonucci($38 million), and most infamously, Arthur Melo($82 million) for big gains.

However, the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) recently ruled that there was enough reasonable suspicion that Juve was lying about their gains.

The Arthur deal was completed around the same time as the Miralem Pjanic($65 million) deal, which would only cost Barca(acquiring Arthur) a grand total of $17 million. It’s a pattern that’s repeated throughout Juve’s history; the FIGC alleged Juve had done 22 transfers in such a way.

Notable ones include Cancelo swapping places with Danilo(a profit for Juve of around $30 million) and Bonucci swapping with Mattia Caldara(a profit of just under $3 million).

The reason Juventus got away with misleading swap deals like these was that the swap deals were usually made for youth players and frequent loanees.

Juve was not alone. Some allege the blockbuster transfer of Victor Osimhen($81.4 million) was inflated, as Napoli sent Lille two youth players(just $22 million).

Elsewhere, Inter allegedly inflated transfers(Milan Skriniar-Gianluca Caprari for around $20 million and Nainggolan-Davide Santon and Zaniolo for 25.5 million).

The problem with those transfers isn’t that Juve and Barca(or City, Milan, Sampdoria, and Sion) did not pay the entirety of the euros promised.

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Swapping 82 million for 65 million leaves nothing but 17 million, which is completely legal as the Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deal in 2018 proved.

It’s the fact that Juve lied on their financial transcripts about how much they gained from the transfer. It’s not only dishonest but feeds into the lie that Juve is perfectly fine financially and is not under waves of debt. It masks their dire situation with the big money deals, which is not just immoral, but illegal as the FIGC decided.

Despite allegations swirling around Serie A, it seems like it will only be Juventus receiving punishments. Despite an Italian soccer prosecutor recommending a nine-point penalty (which would put them in seventh, eight points behind Conference League football), the FIGC decided to harshen the penalty to 15 points.

Along with the point deduction, the FIGC banned Agnelli and previous CEO Maurizio Arrivabene from soccer activities for three months.

Fabio Paratici, currently the sporting director of Spurs, was banned for 30 months(although the ban does not stretch to England yet), and Pavel Nedved was banned for eight months. Unless Juve decides to appeal the decision, this will be an end “Prisma” scandal that has plagued Italy for several years.

Juve going down to tenth in Serie A not only means that every game counts, especially with a tough league schedule of Atalanta, Monza, Salernitana, and Lazio on the horizon, but it also means Juventus must be even more aggressive in the transfer Mercato.

They’ve been very passive in the transfer market so far; they have not spent any real money; but it seems like Juve is preparing to line up some blockbuster trades.

90min reports that Juve is sniffing around Bukayo Saka, which would see Dusan Vlahovic moving to the Emirates as part of a legal swap deal. The Black-and-white is also monitoring the situations of Kai Havertz, Nacho Fernandez, and Ramy Bensebaini.

Yet, for the most part, Juventus wants to keep their current squad, and with good reason. They’ve only lost thrice, the third-least in the league. Their twelve goals allowed in 18 games is a league-high, and despite their early exit from the Champions League, they have one of the most star-studded squads in Europe.

Tell me a roster including Vlahovic, Bonucci, Bremer, Di Maria, and more cannot challenge for the world’s biggest trophies.

As fate will have it, their conquest for the Scudetto will likely be on hold for this season. FiveThirtyEight gives Juventus a 5% chance of securing a Champions League spot, and it’s very skeptical about its chances of launching itself back into the title race, as everyone else in Italy is.

In short, missing out on Champions League football could force Juve to make drastic budget cuts, sell fringe players, or rethink their approach to the transfer market they have adopted for decades. Juventus is set to appeal the decision soon, but as it stands, Juventus face a very uncertain future.



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