Juventus withdraw from European competition

Juventus and UEFA have reportedly agreed on a plea bargain which could see the Italian outfit miss out on European football next season – but is it a good price to pay?

In the latter half of last season, Juventus were deducted 15 points in Serie A due to their ‘financial irregularities’ and ‘false accounting’ in previous transfer dealings. Coupled with the deduction, the Old Lady’s board members, Andrea Agnelli, Pavel Nedved and Fabio Paratici all received punishments for their alleged involvement in the scandal.

This came after the re-opening of the ‘plusvalenza’ case (capital gains), which Juventus were claimed to have not obeyed the rules of. When the investigation was originally complete, all accused were discharged in May – but a federal prosecutor decided to appeal and reopen the case, highlighting many deceitful transfers including the ill-famed Miralem Pjanić & Arthur Melo swap-deal. After the appeal, the European giants were handed a 15-point deduction which saw them crash out of the Champions League & Europa League places, resulting in Conference League qualification.

Upon the news of their penalty, Juventus’ deduction was suspended upon an appeal from the club and went back to the federation’s appeals court for a new trial. During the three-hour hearing, prosecutor Giuseppe Chine requested an 11-point deduction for the Turin side, a higher attempt than the nine he requested in January. In the final ruling, Juventus were docked 10 points – which was enough to see their Champions League dreams all but over.

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However, just a few months later and Juventus could sign a plea bargain with UEFA which would see them withdraw from all European competitions this season. This comes as the new hierarchy, led by CEO Gianluca Ferrero, intends to open a new page at the club in a bid to restore their relationship with UEFA and reduce the chances of receiving other bans and penalties in the future.

Because of their choice to withdraw, Fiorentina will enter the competition instead of Juventus. After a late winner from Jarrod Bowen in the Europa Conference League final last month, Fiorentina thought their European dreams for next term were over – but a stroke of luck is set to see them compete once again. Also upon Juventus’ departure and Fiorentina’s lower UEFA co-efficent ranking, Aston Villa will now be moved into the seeded side of the draw.

On the pitch, Juventus have scheduled friendlies against fellow giants in Barcelona, AC Milan and Real Madrid before their opening Serie A fixture against Udinese late next month. With this news, there could be potential changes in Juventus’ transfer plans as players in the camp seek to play in Europe next season – but no news has been reported of that yet.