In a significant ruling by UEFA on Friday, Juventus, the two-time European champions, were expelled from European competition next season. This decision was expected due to a false accounting case that had already led to the deduction of 10 points from Juventus in Serie A. As a result, Juventus fell out of Champions League qualification places. Consequently, their spot in the Europa Conference League should go to Fiorentina in the upcoming playoffs round starting on August 24.
Apart from the expulsion, Juventus was also fined €10 million for breaching the financial fair play (FFP) rules defined by UEFA. Moreover, if the club fails to adhere to UEFA’s financial monitoring rules in the future seasons, an additional €10 million can be deducted. While the ruling was regretted by Juventus, they expressed their decision not to appeal. The club’s president, Gianluca Ferrero, stated, “We do not share the interpretation that has been given of our defense and we remain firmly convinced of the legitimacy of our actions and the validity of our arguments.”
In a separate case, Chelsea, the English football club owned by Roman Abramovich, was ordered to pay a settlement of €10 million to UEFA. This penalty was imposed for submitting incorrect financial information between 2012 and 2019. The current ownership group of Chelsea, led by Americans, reported the discrepancies in financial reporting under the club’s previous ownership in May last year. Consequently, Chelsea did not qualify for any European competitions in the upcoming season.
Chelsea’s Stance on the Ruling
Chelsea released a statement expressing gratitude that the case had been concluded through proactive disclosure of information to UEFA and a settlement. The statement emphasized the club’s commitment to full compliance and transparency with regulators. Chelsea also conveyed its appreciation for its relationship with UEFA and looked forward to strengthening that relationship in the future.
UEFA had initiated an investigation against Juventus in December for potential breaches of FFP rules after Italian prosecutors unsealed their case against the club. The Italian authorities had already docked Juventus 10 points in Serie A, which pushed the club from a potential top-four finish to seventh place, thereby denying them a place in the Champions League. AC Milan secured the Champions League spot instead. The false accounting allegations prompted UEFA’s club finance investigators to terminate a settlement that had been agreed upon with Juventus the previous year and impose fresh sanctions.
Evaluation of Juventus’ Chaotic Season
The 2022-23 season for Juventus proved to be chaotic, not only because of the financial breaches but also due to the resignation of long-standing club officials, including president Andrea Agnelli and vice president Pavel Nedvěd. Their departures marked a significant shift for the club, which will need to navigate through these changes and rebuild in the coming seasons.
The expulsion of Juventus from European competition and the financial settlement imposed on Chelsea highlight the importance of complying with UEFA’s financial regulations. These rulings serve as a reminder to clubs about the consequences of breaching the rules and the need for transparency and accountability in the world of professional football. As the football community moves forward, it is essential for clubs to prioritize financial fair play and ensure the long-term sustainability of the sport.