Cristiano Ronaldo among 22 players who might face repercussions following Juventus’ financial scandal
Juventus’ off-field issues continue to go from bad to worse. The Old Lady of Turin recently had 15 points docked off their league tally after they were found guilty of financial mismanagement and irregular book-keeping by a court in Italy.
Now it has emerged that 22 players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, were paid €90m (£79.5m) in deferred wages off book in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The document also includes former head coach Maurizio Sarri, Argentine star Paulo Dybala as well as former captain Giorgio Chiellini. It revealed that Ronaldo was owed £17.2m in salary after agreeing to a four-month deferral during the Covid-19 interrupted 2019/20 season.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was by far the highest wage-earner in Turin and collected a salary four times higher than the Bianconeri’s next best player in Miralem Pjanic and the midfielder was said to have owed £5.1m.
Further probe has also revealed that Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey was owed £4.2m while current player Adrien Rabiot had also agreed to defer £5m in wages.
These documents and files are being reviewed by prosecutors in light of the recent investigation into Juventus’ financial mismanagement that included alleged false book-keeping and accounts manipulation, relating to transfers as well as other payments, including salaries.
The probe was opened by the Italian football federation, FIGC, in 2021. They wanted to take a closer look at 62 different player transactions between 2018 and 2020 over accusations that Juventus had purposely wrongly reported these deals and that their values were artificially inflated in order to escape stringent Financial Fair Play regulations.
Juventus have already had 15 points subtracted from their Serie A points tally this season as punishment for the scandal and the club are now raising an appeal with the Italian Olympic Committee, with the decision set to arrive in March.
The latest revelation also means that the players who have been involved could be additionally handed 30-day suspensions that would apply to Italian football if they are proven to be complicit.
“The economic and financial effects of the understanding reached are positive for about €90m for the 2019/2020 financial year.
The understanding provides for the reduction of the compensation for an amount equal to the monthly payments of March, April, May and June 2020,” Juventus had confirmed the wage deferrals at that time.
However, they are alleged to have repaid three of the four months off the club’s balance sheet.
The club, meanwhile, continues to deny any wrongdoing.