Earlier today, I was informed of a summons before the FIGC prosecutor.
The summons relates to myself, Francesco Calvo, one of our directors at the time, Alessandro D’Angelo and Stefano Merulla.
This club, its employees and myself have nothing to hide nor fear and that is why I am here before you today, albeit only for a few minutes.
Over the last few months, the Juventus management, who enjoy my full backing, have cooperated with the Turin State Prosecutor’s Office as witnesses as part of an investigation into certain individuals linked to the world of organised crime.
In their role as witnesses, they were subject to meticulous and invasive checks, including via the use of telephone and wire taps. That role has not changed: they were WITNESSES then and WITNESSES they remained until the conclusion of the criminal investigation.
Today, the FIGC Prosecutor, rather than simply contesting potential irregularities in ticket sales, has served legal papers in which my employees and I are alleged to have “colluded” with organised crime circles.
All of that is unacceptable and the result of confirmation bias towards Juventus, which is not how the justice system works.
I remind you that our efforts to maintain public order and prevent incidents during football matches are run by Juventus staff in close collaboration with the security forces.
I will defend myself, I will defend our colleagues and, above all, I will defend the good name of Juventus, which too often has been besmirched or subjected to bizarre, experimental proceedings run by the sporting justice authorities.
We will defend ourselves via the appropriate channels but, as of today, I call on you to look carefully at the details of an investigation which has curiously seen the individuals charged with mafia offences replaced by WITNESSES whose only sin is to work for the country’s most famous and talked-about club.
For obvious reasons I shall not comment on the proceedings to you today because I believe I must do so before the sporting justice authorities.
I do, however, invite you to be witnesses yourselves and not mouthpieces for prejudiced conclusions which to my mind are wrong and in sharp contrast to those drawn by the criminal justice system.
As I wrote a few days ago, I have never met mafia bosses. As you know, I meet all types of fans on a regular basis, be they Club Doc supporters, Juventus Members or groups of Ultras.
This is always done with the utmost transparency and I believe this is part and parcel of the duties involved in running a football club.
If some of these individuals have now changed status in the eyes of the criminal justice system, this is news to me and was not something that I, nor any other Juventus employee, was aware of at the time of the events.
As for a matter that some of you might oppose, on whether Ultras or their leaders are not whiter than white, I must say I agree with you but I respect national legislation and these individuals were free and there was nothing stopping them from going to stadia and attending football matches.
Juventus, just like any other football club, works with the state and has been held up as a positive example in recent years. The club cannot, however, replace security forces.
I felt obliged to appear before you today, in the same way I was completely willing to cooperate with the Anti-mafia Commission, so that you could at least hear my views directly and not through a third party.
Finally, I know some of you have been speculating over the last few days about a change in management at Juventus. I hate to disappoint you but this management team of myself, vice president Pavel Nedved, CEO Giuseppe Marotta and sporting director Fabio Paratici, intends to further Juventus’ growth for a long while yet.