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Juventus’ Champions League hopes go up in smoke with a 10-point penalty

© Ace Football

The record 36-time Italian champions have been dealt a crushing setback in their top-four ambitions after Serie A this season.

An Italian court ruling has deducted Juventus of 10 points in Serie A for alleged financial irregularities.

This represents a major blow to the ambitions of the Turin-based side, which had hoped to compete amongst Europe’s elite clubs in the 2023/24 campaign. The ruling came moments before Monday’s game at Empoli. Perhaps for that reason, Juventus slumped to a 4-1 defeat, ending a three-game winning streak.

The court made the ruling due to false accounting in the club’s transfer dealings. As a result, Juve have dropped from second place to seventh in Serie A. They are five points behind fourth-placed AC Milan, with only two games remaining.

The last time Juventus failed to qualify for the Champions League was in 2010/11.

On social media, Juve noted the court decision and their right to launch an appeal to Italy’s top sports body.

“What was established by the fifth instance of judgment in this matter, which began more than a year ago, arouses great bitterness in the club and in its millions of supporters who, in the absence of clear rules, find themselves extremely penalized with the application of sanctions that do not seem to take into account the principle of proportionality,” read the club’s statement.

“While not ignoring the need for urgency, which Juventus has never shied away from during the proceedings, it is emphasized that these are facts that still have to be evaluated by a judge.”

Nedved & six other directors exonerated

Earlier this year, the team was given a massive 15-point penalty. Former chairman Andrea Agnelli was banned from football-related activities. However, following an appeal last month, Juventus had the points deduction suspended. The case was referred back to the Italian football federation’s appeals court for another trial, which took place on Monday.

During the hearing, the prosecutor, Giuseppe Chine, requested an 11-point penalty, higher than his original request of nine. He also sought eight-month bans for seven former Juventus directors. Pavel Nedved was among them, but the ex-winger, along with the other board members, was cleared.

The Bianconeri board resigned in November upon being investigated by Turin public prosecutors over alleged false bookkeeping.

Fabio Paratici, the former director of football for Tottenham, who had to resign earlier this year due to being caught up in the worldwide ban, is still not cleared. Nor is Agnelli and two others, who had their appeals rejected just last month.