UPDATE NO. 1: Juventus have now confirmed the resignation of the board of directors in its entirety.
Reporting now indicates—and the team’s statement seems to confirm—that the mass resignation of the board of directors is motivated by the ongoing investigation into Juventus’ finances.
The investigation is not regarding the “plusvalenza” scenario, which was dismissed by sporting courts earlier this year as impossible to prove. Instead, the team is in the crosshairs for something far easier to prove: run-of-the-mill financial fraud.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Football Italia), the development comes as the Turin prosecutor’s investigation into alleged false accounting during the pandemic reaches a climax.
During the height of lockdown, the club claimed that the players gave up four months’ wages to help the club balance their books. The prosecutor’s office alleges that the players in fact gave up far less than that, and that Juve claimed the entire amount on their financial statements while essentially paying them the rest under the table. This would have allowed the club to show balanced books while also allowing both parties to avoid taxes. Given that Juventus is a publicly traded company, it would also have affected their share price.
This is a far more provable offense than the potential inflation of player values, especially considering Juve’s status as a publicly traded company. Indeed, the resignations seem to have been ultimately triggered by a request for clarification of the team’s books by CONSOB, the body that supervises activities on the Italian stock market. That request resulted in the board postponing the shareholders’ meeting that had been scheduled for last week until the end of December. That meeting has now been postponed again until January.
The club has also confirmed the appointment of Maurizio Scanavino as general manager of the team. Scanavino is currently the head of GEDI Gruppo Editoriale, publisher of many Italian newspapers including Turin-based La Stampa and La Repubblica. Exor has been GEDI Gruppo Editoriale’s parent company since 2020. Maurizio Arrivabene will remain in his position as CEO through the transition period.
And just like that, the World Cup break free of Juventus news took a sudden turn.
According to widespread reports out of Italy on Monday night — with Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti getting first crack at things — Juventus’ entire board of directors have decided to resign after what is being described as an “extraordinary board meeting.” That means both club president Andrea Agnelli and vice president Pavel Nedved are both out, ending Agnelli’s decade-plus tenure running the club that his family has owned for decades on decades. Same goes for Maurizio Arrivabene, who was brought in to not only show off his wide array of suits but also bring some stability in the wake of then-Director of Football Fabio Paratici’s departure two years ago. Arrivabene is expected to stay on during the transition, though.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the new Juventus board of directors and “a new club structure” will be appointed over the next few months.
⚠️#Juventus: tutto il Cda si è dimesso in concomitanza con un’assemblea straordinaria— Romeo Agresti (@romeoagresti) November 28, 2022
The reason as to why this has suddenly happened is not known at all. The timing of it seems a little bit odd considering that it comes at a time in which the club is not playing and has had a relatively quiet World Cup break up until Monday night.
But, there is very much still the investigation going into the plusvalenza dealing that have hung over the club for months now. How much that influenced this decision remains to be seen and there will certainly be more reporting — or maybe even a Juventus statement — regarding the matter in the coming hours and days.
Check back for more on this developing story.