Agnelli resigns as Juventus chairman, replacement named
The board members of the Italian football club Juventus quit en masse after receiving independent legal advice over an investigation by prosecutors in Turin.
The owner of the top Italian football club Juventus proposed a new chairman on Tuesday after the entire board resigned over a probe into allegations of false accounting.
Exor, which owns 63.8% of Juventus, said it was proposing Gianluca Ferrero to replace long-time chairman Andrea Agnelli, who led the resignations on Monday night.
The board quit en masse after receiving independent legal advice over an investigation by prosecutors in Turin into allegations of false accounting and irregularities in the transfer and loans of players.
Agnelli, the descendant of one of Italy's most powerful and richest families, had been at the helm of Juventus since 2010. Both his uncle Gianni and father Umberto had been past chairmen of Juventus.
He had taken over after the darkest period in the history of the club -- known as 'The Old Lady' -- due to the Calciopoli scandal in influencing the appointment of referees.
They were stripped of two titles (2005 and 2006) and relegated to the second division though they won promotion immediately (2006/2007 season).
However, under the chairmanship of Agnelli, 46, the Turin giants won nine straight Serie A titles and reached the 2015 and 2017 Champions League finals.
'A delicate moment from a corporate point of view'
According to Italian media, Agnelli sent an emotional farewell letter to the club's employees, saying, "We are facing a delicate moment from a corporate point of view and compactness has failed."
"Better for everyone to leave together, giving a new team the chance to turn the match around," the letter said.
Exor pointed out that Ferrero, a corporate advisor, auditor, and board member of a number of companies, has "significant experience and the required technical competencies," indicating that with a "genuine passion for the bianconero club," he was "the person most qualified to fulfill this role."
Juventus are being probed for over 282 million euros ($319m) of capital gains from a series of player transfers booked in their financial results for 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Prosecutors in Turin are investigating the possibility that the club, which is listed on the Italian stock exchange, presented false accounting information to investors and produced invoices for non-existent transactions over that period.
Shareholders to appoint new board on January 18
The outgoing board felt it was "in the best social interest to recommend that Juventus equip itself with a new board of directors to address these issues," the club said.
Managing Director Maurizio Arrivabene has been asked to stay on for an interim period while a new board could be brought together.
Shares in the club fell almost 5% on the Milan Stock Exchange on Tuesday morning and were worth 0.265 euros at around 09:40 am (0840 GMT).
Shareholders are set to meet on January 18 to appoint the new board.
A raft of transfers involving Juventus and other clubs are also the subject of a parallel investigation launched by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in October.
What is discovered by prosecutors will then be passed on to the FIGC, which has powers to sanction clubs with a range of punishments from fines to being kicked out of the league.
On Monday, the club said it will "continue to cooperate with the supervisory and industry authorities."