HomeSerie AItaly prosecutors wrap up investigation of Juventus accounts

Italy prosecutors wrap up investigation of Juventus accounts

Soccer Football – Serie A – Juventus v Genoa – Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy – April 11, 2021 Juventus president Andrea Agnelli sat in the stands before the match REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian prosecutors have concluded an investigation into how Juventus managed its finances between 2018 and 2020 as they probe allegations of false accounting and market manipulation against the leading Serie A football club.

Juventus, its board, leading executives and members of the board of its statutory auditors have been informed that the current phase of the investigation has ended, Anna Maria Loreto, chief prosecutor in the club’s home city of Turin, said in a statement late on Monday.

A source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters that there are 15 suspects in all, in addition to the club itself, including club president Andrea Agnelli.

Lawyers for Agnelli and the club did not respond to requests for comment.

Juventus has not released any official comment.

In Italy the conclusion of an investigation usually precedes any request from prosecutors to send suspects to trial.

Last December, after a Guardia di Finanza police search, Juventus stated that it had always acted in compliance with existing laws and it was fully collaborating with authorities.

In its statement, the Turin prosecutor alleged that Juventus, a business listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, understated its financial losses for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Prosecutors have been looking into the values ascribed to player transfers between clubs and whether, as stated, salaries were sacrificed during the COVID-19 pandemic or simply deferred.

Juventus, one of 12 leading European clubs that made a failed attempt to set up a breakaway European Super League in April 2021 to beef up its finances, is controlled by Exor, the holding company of Italy’s Agnelli family.

Exor also declined to comment on the investigation.

(Reporting by Emilio Parodi; Additional reporting Elvira Pollina and Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Keith Weir and Hugh Lawson)