It’s been a rough month for Juventus supporters. The year began on a sour note with the announcement that the club has been hit with a 15-point reduction in the Serie A standings and former chairman Andrea Agnelli has been banned from holding any positions in Italian soccer for two years due to allegations of financial mismanagement and transfer manipulation.
The recent controversy surrounding the club has forced the current sporting director Federico Cherubini to maintain the current roster for the remainder of the season while waiting for key players Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic to return.
Although the season has not been successful thus far, Juventus has positioned themselves well to turn things around. There are three reasons why the club can end the campaign with at least one trophy, or even two:
Key Players Have Returned
First, as previously stated, some crucial Juventus players have finally rejoined the team. Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa both started together on Thursday, much to the delight of coach Massimiliano Allegri who has been without their services for some time. Dusan Vlahovic was signed from Fiorentina in January 2022, the same month when Federico Chiesa suffered a torn ACL and missed the rest of the season.
The Italian winger returned just prior to the 2022 World Cup, while Dusan Vlahovic was also out due to a groin injury. Having both players available is a boost for the fans and for coach Allegri, who is also eagerly awaiting the long-awaited return of Paul Pogba. The French star has yet to make his debut since rejoining the club in the summer, but it appears that the wait is almost over.
Two Trophies Still To Play For
The Bianconeri had a disappointing Champions League campaign, as they were eliminated from the group stage along with PSG, Benfica, and Maccabi Haifa. They will now participate in the Europa League and will take on Nantes in the first round of the elimination phase this month. Juventus had a rough start to the Serie A season, but then won eight consecutive games and had improved their standing in the table before the 15-point deduction and the 5-1 loss to Napoli.
Despite these setbacks, Juventus is still in contention for the Coppa Italia and also has good odds of being a contender for the Europa League title. Coach Allegri recognizes that these two competitions will shape the near future of the club and will also determine the outcome of the season.
Appeal Against The Penalty
Despite the federal court’s decision, Juventus still has hope for restoring the 15 points. The club has officially filed an appeal. The 15-point penalty is more severe than the nine-point deduction recommended by the prosecutor, and for this reason, the club is hopeful that these points will not be upheld after the appeal.
This comes after the club’s financial statements were under investigation by prosecutors and the Italian market regulator CONSOB in recent months for alleged false accounting and market manipulation. This investigation led to the board stepping down in November, marking the end of an era for Andrea Agnelli. The club acknowledged the so-called “salary maneuvering” from the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years, stating that “the complexity of such profiles on valuation elements may be subject to different interpretations.”
Juventus Fans: Don’t Give Up
While it may seem like a hopeless situation for Juventus fans, it is too early to give up hope on the team. The club has faced a difficult month, with a 15-point deduction from the Serie A standings and the suspension of former chairman Andrea Agnelli. However, the club is appealing the decision, and the return of key players Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic have reinvigorated the squad.
Juventus may have had a disappointing Champions League campaign, but they have bounced back in the Serie A and are still in the race to win both the Coppa Italia and the Europa League. These competitions will not only shape the near future of the club, but they will also provide an opportunity for the team to prove their resilience and determination. So, while it may seem like a dark time for Juventus fans, it’s too soon to write off this storied and talented team.