(Adds lawyers’ comments) MILAN, Oct. 25 (Reuters) –
Italian Serie A football club Juventus on Tuesday denied any wrongdoing after prosecutors investigating allegations of false accounting and market manipulation completed an investigation into the club’s financial statements. In Italy, the conclusion of an investigation usually precedes any request from prosecutors to send suspects to trial.
Juventus, its board of directors, executives and members of the supervisory board have been informed that the current phase of the investigation has ended, Anna Maria Loreto, chief prosecutor in the home city of Turin, said in a statement late Monday. . A source with direct knowledge of the case told Reuters there are a total of 15 suspects in addition to the club itself, including club president Andrea Agnelli.
Juventus, a company listed on the Milan stock exchange and Italy’s most successful football club, said it believed it had followed proper procedures. “Juventus remains convinced… to have acted in accordance with the laws and regulations governing the preparation of financial reports, in accordance with accounting principles and in accordance with international practice in the football industry,” the club said in a statement. declaration.
The Turin prosecutor alleged that Juventus underestimated its financial losses for 2018, 2019 and 2020. Prosecutors have been investigating the values attributed to player transfers between clubs and whether, as said, salaries were sacrificed during the COVID-19 pandemic or simply postponed.
Juventus, one of 12 leading European clubs that failed in April 2021 to create a breakaway European Super League to put its finances in order, is controlled by Exor, the holding company of the Italian Agnelli family. Last month the Serie A side said it would finish the current one
fiscal year in the red after it reported a record annual loss of 254 million euros ($253.29 million) in the previous year.
In 2021, the club completed a €400 million capital increase to get its finances in order, in its second rights issue in three years. In a separate statement, the club’s lawyers, Agnelli and some Juventus executives also said they had adhered to existing laws and accounting principles.
“In addition, Juventus has made two different capital increases in the relevant years in full transparency and in compliance with the rules,” the statement said. “The amounts of these capital increases largely exceed and absorb the amounts disputed in the investigation, which in any case would have no effect on the company’s debt burden,” the lawyers added.
($1 = 1,028 euros)
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