Juventus banned from Conference League, Chelsea fined by UEFA

Juventus banned from Conference League, Chelsea fined by UEFA

Juventus were removed from European competition next season and Chelsea were fined €10 million ($11m) in separate UEFA rulings over financial rules breaches on Friday.

The expulsion of Juventus from the third-tier Europa Conference League was expected because of a false accounting case that already saw the two-time European champions deducted 10 points in Serie A. That penalty dropped Juventus out of Champions League qualification places.

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Juventus’ spot in the Europa Conference League should go to Fiorentina in the playoffs round starting on Aug. 24.

UEFA said Friday that Juventus must also pay a fine of €10m for breaking financial fair play (FFP) rules. A further €10m can be deducted if the club fails to comply with UEFA financial monitoring rules in future seasons.

Juventus regretted the ruling but said they wouldn’t appeal.

“We regret the decision of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body,” Juventus president Gianluca Ferrero said in a statement on the club’s website. “We do not share the interpretation that has been given of our defence and we remain firmly convinced of the legitimacy of our actions and the validity of our arguments.

“However, we have decided not to appeal this judgment. Despite this painful decision, we can now face the new season by focusing on the field and not on the courts.”

In a separate case, Chelsea will pay a settlement of €10m to UEFA for incorrect financial information submitted between 2012 and 2019 when the club was owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea’s current American-led ownership group reported “potentially incomplete financial reporting under the club’s previous ownership” in May last year, UEFA said.

Chelsea, who won the Champions League in 2012 and 2021, did not qualify for any European competitions for the upcoming season.

“In accordance with the club’s ownership group’s core principles of full compliance and transparency with its regulators, we are grateful that this case has been concluded by proactive disclosure of information to UEFA and a settlement that fully resolves the reported matters,” Chelsea said in a statement.

“Chelsea greatly values its relationship with UEFA and looks forward to building on that relationship in the years to come.”

UEFA had opened an investigation against Juventus in December for probable breaches of FFP rules after prosecutors in Italy unsealed their case against the storied club.

Juventus were ultimately docked 10 points in Serie A by Italian authorities that dropped the club from potentially finishing in the top four and earning a place in the next Champions League to finish seventh — enough only for the third-tier Conference League. AC Milan got into the Champions League instead.

The false accounting allegations pushed UEFA club finance investigators to terminate a settlement agreed with the club last year and impose fresh sanctions, the European soccer body said.

The chaotic 2022-23 season for Juventus also saw them lose long-standing club officials who resigned, including president Andrea Agnelli and vice president Pavel Nedvěd, a former playing great.

Juventus also lost two years of European football from 2006 to 2008 in the fallout from the Calciopoli corruption scandal.

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