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John Elkann tries to steady the ship as Juventus denies any wrongdoing

Some strong words from the head of Exor.

Juventus v Juventus B - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/Getty Images

For much of Andrea Agnelli’s tenure as Juventus’ president, it was his cousin John Elkann who was in the background. As the man in charge of Juve’s holding company, Exor, Elkann would pop in now and then with his thoughts on the team but understandably let his cousin run the show and not try to overstep all that much.

With Agnelli now out, Elkann has, whether he likes it or not, become the highest-ranking face associated with Juventus and the man that people are now looking to as this current crisis rolls on.

It was on Wednesday in which Elkann took the microphone for the second time since everything went down involving his cousin and the rest of Juventus’ board of directors stepping down in the midst of the investigation into the club’s finances and false accounting. Elkann, speaking the annual Investor and Analyst Call maintained his stance about the current state of Juventus’ finances despite record losses the last two fiscal years and where the club is going as it looks to pick itself up off the mat while legal issues seemingly mount by the day.

“Juventus does not need fresh capital. We are in a situation where there is a clear direction going forward, as we already announced yesterday. A new Board of Directors will be appointed in January and the President will be Gianluca Ferrero, who will know how to approach various issues.

“The club will also have a very capable director general in the areas where Juventus are present. We have a great, experienced coach like Max Allegri.

“Football is a sector of great value and we think with the ingredients that Juventus have, this can be an even more valuable club than it already is today.”

(Source: Football Italia)

A lot of what Elkann said is probably hard to see at the moment knowing what is swirling around the club. But when it comes to somebody who is familiar with Juventus’ finances and if another injection of capital is necessary, then it would probably be Elkann since it’s the company he is in charge of, Exor, in which that money would be coming from.

Also on Wednesday, Juventus issued a lengthy club statement that maintained its innocence with more and more pressure being put on the club following Agnelli and the rest of the board’s resignation. It was, based on how the first few sentences read, Juve’s attempt to try and clarify things based on what has been reported over the last 24 or 48 hours since the resignations first came down.

“Juventus F.C. remains convinced that it has always acted correctly and intends to assert its reasons and defend its corporate, economic and sporting interests in all forums,” the final sentence of the statement reads.

The bulk of the press release can be read in full below:

On the basis of a solid set of opinions by leading legal and accounting professionals, the board of Juventus has come, united, to the unanimous conclusion, shared by all nine members of the board in office on the 28 November 2022, that:

· the accounting treatment adopted in the contested financial statements falls within those allowed by applicable accounting principles;

· the allegations of the Public Prosecutor’s Office do not appear to be substantiated and do not appear, moreover, to be aligned, both as to the assumptions and as to the conclusions, with the remarks contained in Consob’s resolution of 19 October 2022; in fact, the Public Prosecutor’s Office maintains the artificiality of the capital gains and the fictitiousness of the salary reductions, while Consob challenges a considerably lower value of capital gains, moreover without any mention of false accounting, and does not dispute the legal effectiveness of the salary reductions, nor, with specific regard to the so-called 2020/2021 “salary maneuver”, the legally non-binding nature of the so-called supplementary agreements that were being negotiated in April and May 2021;

· the correction of the financial statements (i.e., restatement), limited to the so-called 2020 and 2021 “salary manoeuvres”, was decided in line with the adoption of a perspective of accentuated and extreme prudence, and has accounting effects which are deemed, also with the aid of independent experts, to be not material, in particular with regard to shareholders’ equity for the financial years ended 30 June 2022;

· finally, Juventus trusts that, precisely because of the deemed absence of any alteration of the contested financial statements, the conclusions of the sporting authorities (which have already expressed themselves in favor of Juventus, with regard to the issue of capital gains) will not change: in the absence of any accounting alteration, any sporting sanction would be completely unfounded.

Juventus are expected to officially name a new board of directors during the shareholders’ meeting on Jan. 18, 2023.