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Juve’s accounting trial hearing pushed back to May

Juventus will have to wait to see if they and 12 other current and former club figures will face trial for alleged financial crimes after Monday’s preliminary hearing in Turin was postponed until May.

The hearing was set to decide whether Italy’s biggest football club and individuals including ex-chairman Andrea Agnelli and his former deputy Pavel Nedved would have to defend themselves against accusations of a variety of accounting offences over three Serie A seasons up to 2021.

However a new hearing will be held on May 10 to decide where an eventual trial would be held, with Juve’s legal team saying that as the club is listed on the Italian stock exchange it should take place either in Milan where exchange is based or Rome, the location of its servers.

Monday’s hearing was supposed to be the first stage in a series of off-field battles for Juventus who are making an unlikely bid for Champions League football next season despite being docked 15 points for illicit transfer activity by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in January.

With 11 matches remaining Juve are seven points off Serie A’s top four positions which qualify clubs to Europe’s top club competition.

On April 19 the country’s highest sporting court will decide whether to uphold the points punishment inflicted by the FIGC’s appeals court.

The court, based at Italy’s Olympic Committee, will make its decision not on the merits but rather on the legal legitimacy of the court’s ruling.

It can confirm the points deduction, accept Juve’s appeal and completely cancel the punishment or remove the points deduction and send the case back to the appeals court.

Meanwhile FIGC prosecutors are set to close by the end of March their probes into the role of so-called “partner clubs” involved in the suspected transfer trickery and other alleged financial misdeeds including lying about their players giving up salary payments during the Covid-19 pandemic.

UEFA are also investigating Juve’s finances in order to ascertain whether the Italian club misled European football’s governing body when negotiating a “settlement agreement” following breaches of Financial Fair Play rules.

On Friday Juve announced losses of 29.5 million euros ($31.8 million) between July and December last year.

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