Juventus could possibly be slammed with a whooping £51million fine for alleged secret payments to Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Serie A giants have come under scrutiny for reportedly making secret and undisclosed payments to Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Manchester United star was reportedly promised a £17million fee, to be secretly paid, during the Covid-19 pandemic period.
According to the Mail, Juventus could potentially face a fine of up to £51m as punishment.
La Gazzetta ello Sport reported the club is being investigated for allegedly falsifying documents, including balance sheets in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Juventus reportedly said that players would take significant pay cuts to ease the financial pressures on the club emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Gazzetta, there are secret documents signed by Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus to the effect of the secret deal.
It is alleged the agreement – possibly omitted from official audits – vowed to pay Ronaldo £17m, even if he left the Turin-based team.
Italian newspaper, La Lampa, has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo was approached for comments on the said allegations but is yet to comment on the development.
However, earlier in 2022, Juventus were cleared of the accusation by the Sporting Justice.
A statement from Juventus’ lawyers clarified that the Turin Public Prosecutors have began an investigation into the said allegations and investigation have ended.
They further argued that two sports justices had cleared the club of any wrongdoing. As such, the publicity generated by the media on the allegation was unnecessary.
“This is an issue today that does not warrant news insofar that two sports justice bodies have already recognized the complete accounting regularity of the company, which has acted in complete consistency with the practice of the football industry”, a statement from Juventus’ legal team said.
Juventus further went on to outline the details of the full circumstances that led to reduction of the salaries, which was done “in full transparency to the market and to the share holders.”
The full statement reads;
“As for salary reductions, as well as other related costs and changes, these are key corporate government initiatives adopted during the emergency of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to the suspension of football competitions and the closure of stadiums.
“The company, during a press release dated March 28 2020, made known, in full transparency to the market and to the shareholders, a reduction in salaries agreed with the players, pointing out that any additions to the remuneration would be negotiated and paid if or when the sports competitions were resumed and the stadiums were reopened.
“This exceptional time of emergency and uncertainty lasted, as is well known, from the 2019-20 football season up until the entire 2020-21 season, given that only in the spring of 2022 were the stadiums fully reopened to the public.
“The company therefore accounted for any changes to the salaries and any additions to the remuneration, in line with their progress and in compliance with accounting regulations.
“As for the general objection of having falsified the financial statements and having made improper communications to the market, Juventus and its representatives believe that they have been operated in compliance with the laws and relevant technical accounting principles.
“Moreover, during the years of interest, Juventus has distinguished itself for having initiated, in full transparency and in full compliance with the regulations, two different capital increases. These transactions have solidified Juventus as a powerhouse in the landscape of Italian football.
“In particular, the second capital increase, launched autonomously by the company in June 2021, that occurred a few months before the investigation by the Turin Public Prosecutor’s Office became known, had the aim of strengthening the company’s assets following the strong impact of the pandemic.
“The amounts of these capital increases exceed the figures claimed within the formal disputes of this investigation, which in any case would have no effect on the company’s debt.”
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus in 2018 from Spanish giants Real Madrid. He has been contacted for comments on the allegations but has refused to speak.
As it stands, the Turin-based club may likely be slammed with a fine of £51million if found wanting.
Nevertheless, they have insisted on having conducted their dealings and finances in line with laid down laws and relevant technical accounting principles against the misconception of the general public of improper communications to the market.
The club has struggled this season and have crashed out of the Champions League to the Europa League after a poor Champions League campaign.