Juventus captain Leonardo Bonucci has called for the team to remain united in the face of the club being hit with a deduction of 15 points, following their involvement in a capital gains fraud case.
The Bianconeri were handed the punishment in a sensational turn of events on Friday, with the Federal Court of Appeal deciding to dock them the points with immediate effect, as Juventus drop to 11th place in Serie A.
Taking to his Instagram account, centre-back Bonucci remained defiant after the verdict was delivered, and posted a message calling on Massimiliano Allegri‘s side to maintain their team spirit.
“We are with you. Today it is even more important to be a team. We go forward on our path,” the former AC Milan defender declared.
Juventus face their first Serie A match since being handed the points deduction when they face Atalanta at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday evening, with Bonucci expected to feature.
The Italy international joined the Bianconeri from Bari in 2010 and has made 491 appearances for the club, either side of a season at Milan in 2017-18.
Juventus points deduction
Juventus have been hit with a deduction of 15 points by the Federal Court of Appeal, going beyond the requests made by the FIGC Prosecutor’s Office following the controversial capital gains case. Eleven individuals have also been hit with bans.
Although the Prosecutor’s Office had only requested a nine-point deduction for Juventus, the club will have 15 points taken from their current tally in Serie A, as the penalty will be applied immediately. That will see them drop from third to 10th in the Serie A table, even below city rivals Torino, and they will be level on 22 points with Bologna and Empoli.
Juventus capital gains case: Bans handed down
As many as 11 executives who have had links to Juventus have been slapped with bans as well. Fabio Paratici – currently working at Premier League side Tottenham – has been hit with a 30-month ban, which is the longest of the lot. Maurizio Arrivabene and Andrea Agnelli are each banned for 24 months, Federico Cherubini is banned for 16 months.
Pavel Nedved, Paolo Garimberti, Enrico Vellano, Assia Grazioli Venier, Caitlin Mary Hughes, Daniela Marilungo and Francesco Roncaglio will all serve eight-month bans.
“The Federal Court of Appeal chaired by Mario Luigi Torsello has partially accepted the appeal of the FIGC Prosecutor’s Office… sanctioning Juventus with a 15-point penalty to be served in the current season and with a number of bans for 11 Bianconeri executives,” read an FIGC statement on Friday, January 20.
What is happening at Juventus?
The news that originally broke on November 28, 2022, when the entire Juventus board resigned came as the club were being investigated for suspicious transfer activity whereby they allegedly inflated values of players for reasons of capital gains. The financial statements from 2018, 2019 and 2020 are being looked into by investigators. There may also be questions regarding allegedly deferred payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the spring and summer of 2020, as many as 23 Juventus players agreed to reduce their salaries over a four-month period at the club. This was thought to be to help the club navigate its way through a trying financial period. But, it has since been alleged that the players’ salaries were paid, but in a way that would have permitted for tax payments to be avoided by both club and player and for it to seem as though Juventus’ books balanced. Should these accusations be proven, the club would face charges of financial fraud.
Who resigned from Juventus?
Prior to that night of November 28, 2022, Juventus’ board of directors consisted of Agnelli, Nedved, Arrivabene, Laurence Debroux, Massimo Della Ragione, Kathryn Fink, Daniela Marilungo, Francesco Roncaglio, Giorgio Tacchia and Suzanne Heywood. The club confirmed that they had resigned then, in late-November.