Key figures at Juventus and Napoli, including chairmen Andrea Agnelli and Aurelio De Laurentiis, face possible lengthy bans as a trial over suspicious football transfers began on Monday, the Italian FA announced.
Prosecutors at the country’s football federation (FIGC) have asked for Agnelli to be banned from the game for a year over his alleged role in suspected inflated transfer values designed to artificially boost clubs’ balance sheets.
Agnelli is just one of 61 people before the FIGC’s tribunal along with Juve’s former sporting director Fabio Paratici, his replacement Federico Cherubini, CEO Maurizio Arrivabene and vice-chairman and former player Pavel Nedved.
Now at Tottenham Hotspur, Paratici faces a potential ban of 16 months and 10 days, the longest requested by prosecutors for any individual.
Nedved and Arrivabene face eight months while Cherubini, along with six other Juve directors, is looking at nearly seven months.
Film mogul De Laurentiis has to defend himself against a potential 11-month suspension while his wife and two children Edoardo and Valentina, who all have roles at the club, could be banned for six months and 10 days.
Prosecutors have also asked for bans for figures at three other Serie A clubs — Empoli, Genoa and Sampdoria — and six lower league teams including former top-flight outfit Chievo who went bust last year.
Juve, Italy’s most successful club, face an 800,000 euro ($869,000) fine while Napoli could end up having to pay 392,000 euros ($425,000). The rest of the clubs involved in the trial also face fines of varying severity.
The trial reportedly regards 62 transfers over three seasons between 2019 and 2021, with the majority involving Juve but the biggest being Victor Osimhen’s 70 million euro move from Lille to Napoli.
That transfer stands out as it involved four players valued at just over 20 million euros moving to Lille as part of the deal. Three of them never played for the French club and are now in Italy’s lower divisions.
Italian media report that the trial should be finished by Friday, with rulings to come next week. However, the appeals process is likely to be long-winded given the number of clubs and individuals being prosecuted by the FIGC.
In addition to the FIGC trial, Juve are also being investigated by prosecutors in Turin over alleged inflated capital gains made between 2019 and 2021.
The club is suspected of having presented false accounting information to investors and producing invoices for non-existent transactions over that period.