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Juventus accounts trial sought vs Agnelli, 12 others: media

Italian prosecutors have requested that the ex-chairman of football club Juventus, Andrea Agnelli, and 12 other defendants stand trial on charges of false accounting and other crimes, media reported Thursday.

Agnelli, Vice President Pavel Nedved and the rest of the board of the Serie A club resigned en masse on Monday in light of investigations into accounting irregularities. 

Prosecutors in Turin formally submitted their request to a judge on Thursday, Italian newspapers reported.

An investigation begun last year centred on whether Juve, who are listed on the Italian stock exchange, presented false accounting information to investors while producing invoices for non-existent transactions related to the years 2019 to 2021.

At issue are over 282 million euros ($296 million) of capital gains from transactions related to players booked in Juve’s financial results for those years.

Prosecutors are also investigating how the club accounted for salary reductions taken by Juventus players during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Juventus, which prosecutors have also named as a defendant, said in a statement Wednesday that the allegations in the case “do not appear to be substantiated”. 

It defended the way it had accounted for the salary cuts, equal to four months of compensation.

“The Public Prosecutor’s Office maintains the artificiality of the capital gains and the fictitiousness of the salary reductions,” Juventus said Wednesday.

Under his chairmanship, Agnelli, the scion of the powerful family that has managed the club for nearly a century, saw Juventus win nine straight Serie A titles as well as reach the 2015 and 2017 Champions League finals.

On Tuesday, Juve’s majority shareholder and holding company Exor — also controlled by the Agnelli family — put forward its candidate for new chairman of Juventus, Gianluca Ferrero, a corporate adviser and auditor.

Prosecutors in Turin did not immediately respond to a request for information from AFP.

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