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Barcelona and Real Madrid believe they retain Juventuss back

ผู้เขียน: แหล่งที่มา:ต้นฉบับ 2022-12-02

The Italian clubs entire board resigned on Monday after unity was lost

The Juventus board, including chairman Andrea Agnelli, is understood to have resigned en masse on Monday in order to protect the club from criminal charges

: MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images

The two Spanish rebel European Super League clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona believe they still have the backing of Juventus although the boardroom meltdown at the Italian club has damaged their landmark legal action against Uefa.

Real Madrid and Barcelona will press ahead with the case at the European Court of Justice, as well as a planned event on Friday, in spite of the resignation of the entire Juventus board this week, including key Super League ally, chairman Andrea Agnelli.

The developments came as a severe blow to the rebel three ahead of a key stage in the case on December 15, with a new Juventus board not due to be appointed until January. Agnellihas long been a key figurein the rebel clubs fight against Uefa, before and after thedoomed Super Leaguewas launched in April last year.

Agnelli, and nine other directors including his deputy, the former player Pavel Nedved, all resigned on Monday. Agnelli told supporters that the decision was inevitable after unity was lost among the board.

It is anticipated that an event featuring Bernd Reichart, the chief executive of A22, the Madrid company constituted to represent the three rebel clubs, and an executive from Real Madrid, will go ahead in Spain on Friday. Reichart, recently appointed by A22 to push the cause for reform with clubs and governing bodies, is understood to have said that the departure of Agnelli will not stop their case.

Nevertheless, it leaves the rebels in a weakened position. While Juventus face wholesale change of leadership after losses of €220 million in the last year, and now a huge investigation by tax authorities, Barcelonasfinances remain precariouswith debts of around €1.5 billion. The loss of Agnelli, the key English-speaking advocate of the Super League, will be a major blow.

The ECJ advocate-general will give his advice to the judges hearing the case advanced by the Super League clubs, that Uefa has an unfair monopoly on European club competitions, on December 15. While the guidance is not binding it is usually a strong indication of what the judgement is likely to be.

The Juventus board is understood to have resigned en masse on Monday in order to protect the club from criminal charges. The investigation is understood to centre upon alleged off-the-books wage payments to players over four months in 2020. The club had previously claimed those salaries were not paid during the Covid-enforced suspension of football.

Additional enquiries by prosecutors are understood to centre on financial reporting of inflated transfer fees received between 2018 and 2020. One of the former Juventus executives identified by Italian media as also under investigation is Fabio Paratici, who isnow the managing directorat Tottenham Hotspur.

The investigation is being led by Italys Guardia di Finanza under the authority of the Turin courts public prosecutors office and the governments ministry of economy and finance. In addition, it has been widely reported in Italy that the countrys football association, the FIGC (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio) could yet open a case against Juventus and impose sporting sanctions on the club. They were relegated to Serie B in 2006 following the Calciopoli scandal.

Agnelli is the scion of theItalian industrialist familythat founded the car giant Fiat and has been the most outspoken exponent of a closed-shop elite European competition to benefit the most famous clubs. In a letter to Juventus staff upon the resignation of the board he said that it was necessary to do so because unity was lost.

Agnelli wrote: I will continue to think of ways to create a better structure for football, comforted by the words of Friedrich Nietzsche: And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.

The president of Spains Liga, Javier Tebas, an avowed enemy of the Super League, became the first major football administrator to call for Uefa to apply on Juventus for what he alleged were breaches of financial fair play rules.

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