Maurizio Sarri and Giorgio Chiellini told prosecutors how Juventus managed to ‘promise’ repaying them the four months of wages even after they had left the club with some creative accounting.
While inflated transfer fees in exchange deals to boost capital gains are difficult to prove, the main focus of the investigation from the Turin public prosecutor would seem to be the ‘salary manoeuvres’ introduced in 2020 and 2021.
These were officially the players and coaches pledging to give up four months’ worth of their salaries to help the club through the COVID-19 crisis.
Unofficially, they reportedly knew full well that the money would come back to them and only one month was really being left aside.
This was confirmed in WhatsApp messages that Chiellini, at the time the captain, sent to the entire squad, urging them not to share these details with the media.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Chiellini then told prosecutors that the wages had to be calculated differently for those who would leave the club in 2020 or 2021.
“If I didn’t continue playing football in the seasons to come, I was proposed the role of club ambassador, which would also include payment for the wages I had been owed in April and May 2021.
“That contract is due to begin when I have retired from playing for three years, so I haven’t received them yet.”
Former coach Sarri, who was sacked in August 2020 and is now in charge of Lazio, also outlined the way Juventus got around his exit.
“I spoke to Fabio Paratici on the phone, because we were in lockdown at the time. He told me there was already an agreement with the players and it would be opportune for me to join that agreement.
“I was proposed only a four-month docked wage, with three months paid back on the contract for the next year.”
Sarri was worried about what would happen in case – as did indeed happen – he was fired, and La Gazzetta dello Sport note that was taken into account.
“In the end, it was decided that I would have an exit bonus in case I was fired.”