Juventus President Andrea Agnelli confirmed he and the club are deferred to the Disciplinary Commission for meeting ultras linked to the mafia, but “it’s unacceptable.”
Agnelli and the Juventus lawyer have repeatedly stated that they only ever communicated with these two men indirectly as representatives of the ultras and there was no close rapport.
This morning a fake Twitter account purporting to be Agnelli announced the President would be resigning with immediate effect.
“Half an hour ago I was notified that I have been deferred to the Disciplinary Commission, along with Francesco Calvo, who at the time was our director, Alessandro D’Angelo and Stefano Merulla.
“This club, its dependents and myself have no reason to fear or lie, which is why I am here in front of you today,” said Agnelli at a Press conference.
“In recent months members of the Juventus staff in who I have the utmost faith testified to the Anti-Mafia Commission. This testimony was analysed meticulously in an invasive fashion, including with wiretaps, and has never changed. They were witnesses and they remain witnesses to the end of the investigation.
“Today the FIGC, instead of limiting itself to contesting eventual irregularities in the sale of tickets, is deferring me and our dependents with the accusation of “collaborating” with organised crime.
“It is unacceptable and down to a prejudice towards Juventus and inaccurate reading of the situation that has no logic to it. I wish to remind you that prevention of public order problems is done in strict collaboration with all the police authorities.
“I will defend myself, I will defend my collaborators and I will defend the good name of Juventus, which has already had mud slung at it during some curious experimental sporting justice rulings in the past.
“I invite you reporters from today to look deeply into the themes of an inquest that has curiously seen the names of those accused of mafia links disappear to be replaced in the headlines by WITNESSES whose only crime is to work for a very famous club whose name is on everyone’s lips.
“I similarly invite you all to be witnesses and not instruments to make prejudiced conclusions that would in my view be wrong and against everything the justice system stands for.
“I never met with any Mafia bosses. I want to remind everyone that at the time these ultras were and indeed still are free of any criminal record.
“I have met with ultras from various different groups, whether from the Club Doc, Members or other ultras, and always in the clear light of day. This is normal for a President of a football club.
“If some figures have a new position now in the eyes of the justice system, they did not have it at the time. I will explain this to the Sporting Justices and not to you.
“Are some ultras members not exactly Saints? I agree, but they had a clean criminal record and no restriction on attending games.
“Like all clubs, Juventus collaborate with the State – we cannot replace the work of the police. We were only recently cited as an example of a virtuous club when it came to communication with the ultras.
“I thought it my duty to come here and tell you the situation directly, without any mediation.
“Some of you also theorised a possible change of the leadership at Juventus. I am sorry to disappoint you, but this group of directors made up of myself, Vice-President Pavel Nedved, general manager Giuseppe Marotta and sporting director Fabio Paratici, intends to keep Juventus growing for a long time yet.”
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