Juventus: Serie A's Roman Holiday
The World Cup is on and Juventus are in trouble. I feel like I have seen this movie before.
With the resignation of the Juventus board, UEFA and FIGC have launched investigations into the club’s financial activity, that same old scene has reared its head.
Some less than impartial journalists want us to weep for Juventus, for their demise would be the mutually assured destruction of the Italian game, or some other equally melodramatic take.
The entire board resigning on a Monday evening while the World Cup raged on is wonderfully dramatic. My imagination ran wild when the story leaked online, dreaming of a scene akin to the one in Wolf of Wall Street where the FBI raids the investment firm’s offices as The Lemonheads’ Mrs Robinson plays; though I am sure it was nothing like that.
How many clubs have lost out because of Juventus' previous indiscretions? If this were a one off, you could put it down to poor stewardship and greed, but it is not.
Andrea Agnelli was at the forefront of the tragically hilarious Super League sedition, remember? Less than two years ago, Juventus virtually walked out on Serie Ain the name of money, so why should we care about them now they find themselves in trouble?
It is a little cheeky for Juventini to expect anything in the way of support from the rest of Italy as they head into another turbulent period. The tribal and childish nature of football fandom means you will always have schadenfreude, especially when a polarising club like Juve are involved.
This is Italian football's Roman holiday, enjoying the suffering of others. It is not the Juventus fans who paid off referees in years gone by, nor are they responsible for whatever the club finds itself under investigation for now, but that's football.
It would be naive to hold out much hope for any authority to throw the book at Juventus, but any potential guilty verdict would likely be severely damaging to the club. In other words, they probably will not end up in Serie C, but a slap on the wrist is probably out of the question, especially if we are to read much into the total resignation of the board.
At least we know they're not match fixing this time, or at least if they were, I would want my money back.