Turin, Italy-based prosecutors are seeking indictments for former Juventus Football Club chairman Andrea Agnelli and 12 other current and ex-managers in connection with the football club’s financial filings.
The prosecutors are targeting indictments for charges ranging from market manipulation to false accounting and obstruction of regulatory activities, according to a statement on Thursday. A judge will hold a preliminary hearing to review the request, in accordance with Italian law.
A spokesman for Juventus declined to comment. The club said on November 30th that recent accusations levelled against it are unfounded.
The legal move Thursday concludes months of investigations into whether Juventus, widely known as Juve, inflated the transfer value of its players to create fictitious capital gains between 2018 and 2020.
In their investigation, prosecutors have examined whether investors were misled by announced salary cuts during the Covid-19 pandemic that were not actually followed through on, according to an October 24th statement. They have also charged the club with hiding about €200 million in losses over a three-year period.
Agnelli, whose family owns the team, resigned as Juve’s chairman late Monday along with the rest of the board, culminating months of tension between the Turin-based club on the one hand and prosecutors and regulators on the other, who laid out allegations of wrongdoing in the club’s accounting practices.
Juventus said earlier this week that it will restate its 2022 financials after a review of how players were accounted for, and also said that it has amended its balance sheet, which will now need to be approved by shareholders on December 27th.
The billionaire Agnelli family, which founded carmaker Fiat nearly 125 years ago, manages most of its properties through listed holding Exor. The holding in turn controls Juve, Ferrari, CNH Industrial and media publisher The Economist Group. It’s also the largest single investor in automotive giant Stellantis. The Agnellis have owned Juve since 1923.
Juventus has also named Maurizio Scanavino as its new general manager and Gianluca Ferrero as its new chairman. Both have ties to Exor chief executive John Elkann, the great, great-grandson of Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli.
Mr Scanavino is chief executive and general manager of Agnelli media company GEDI Gruppo Editoriale, publisher of two of Italy’s biggest daily newspapers. Tax adviser Ferrero holds positions at shipbuilders Fincantieri and Luigi Lavazza. — Bloomberg