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Juventus might be the first of many Serie A teams to be punished

Will Napoli be the next team to suffer a points deduction in Serie A?



Italian Journalist Daniele Fisichella joined The Football Show to discuss Juventus' 15-point deduction and what comes next.

The Serie A table is a mess right now.

It's not just that Juventus have been relegated to 10th after a 15-point deduction, it's also that more teams are likely to be punished. That includes league leaders Napoli who have 50 points after 19 games. The news broke this week that Juventus were punished for inflating the transfer value of their players.

They made use of swap deals to overstate how much their own players were worth, which made it easier to balance the books at the end of the season. But of course that's illegal.

And for Juventus to take advantage of this loophole, they had to do so with other teams. They can't swap players with themselves. Daniele Fisichella explains that Juventus aren't pleading their innocence, but rather questioning why it's only them who have been punished so far.

"Initially there were nine clubs [implicated]," Fisichella said.

"There was Napoli as well. Their artificial gain of [striker Victor] Osimhen was under scrutiny. It was Genoa, it was Sampdoria and other teams that currently are in Serie B or Serie C. The second and third divisions in Italy. The strange thing is only Juventus has been convicted at the moment. Everyone else has been acquitted."

Juventus fans are clearly unhappy. Their side is being punished for transfer dealings with other teams and those teams are not being punished despite being involved. But the answer may lie in the burden of proof and the level of involvement.

The authorities have clear evidence against Juventus that they may not have against other teams.

"Juventus were convicted because they were the architect of the system. And the investigators found the smoking gun. The phone recordings are very, very clear. There is no doubt about Juventus' guilt. They inflated their financial situations by illegal proceedings.

"Possibly other teams are going to be involved in that. The prosecutors are now re-examining cases [of teams in Serie A so] this investigation will probably expand."

Italian football is not unfamiliar with controversy, but this one could completely reshape the Serie A this season and the Champions League next season. Juventus are still a massive club, but they needed to move in the opposite direction rather than deal with this in order to catch up with the other giants of European football.

It's just another reminder that the Premier League's finances are far ahead of their counterparts across Europe. But that's not something to celebrate for the balance of competition and quality of the sport.

Gerrard and Lampard are warning signs for future managers

 

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