Cristiano Ronaldo has found his name at the centre of financial irregularities at former club Juventus, which could see the Italian side face fines of up to £51m, an investigation has found.
The Manchester United star has been alleged to have received payments during the Covid pandemic which were intended to be held back, and The Daily Mail reports that the club and 16 of its chiefs, including Vice President Pavel Nedved, are also part of the investigation.
But the Serie A side find themselves looking at a potentially huge fine for paying the Portuguese, as well as some other, thus far unnamed, players.
Despite announcing salary reductions amongst their squad in March 2020, Juventus seemingly did pay certain stars during the pandemic.
And these payments appear to have been kept secret by the Italian side, after publicly announcing that their players wouldn’t be paid for at least four months.
But recently unearthed documents between the Turin giants and Ronaldo reveal that, despite these assurances, the club did indeed conceal a payment of £17m.
The Italian side have now been placed under investigation by The Turin Public Prosecutor’s Office, and if found guilty of doing so, face serious penalties and repercussions.
“It is important to remember that the subject of capital gains for so-called swap transactions is the one from which the whole investigation by the Turin Public Prosecutor’s Office, which ended yesterday, began”, read a statement made by Juventus’ lawyers.
“This is an issue today that does not warrant news, insofar that two sports justice bodies have already recognised the full accounting regularity of the company, which has acted in full consistency with the practice of the football industry”.
“As for salary reductions, as well as other related costs and changes, these are key corporate government initiatives adopted during the emergency of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to the suspension of football competitions and the closure of stadiums”, the club’s legal team explained.
And Juventus are no strangers to financial misconduct, in July 2006 the club were relegated to Serie B and stripped of their previous seasons league win after becoming embroiled in a match fixing scandal.
Staring down the barrel of another money-based investigation, the board at the Old Lady of Turin will have to face the music once more.