Juventus are in serious trouble

Juventus-Champions-League-2022-23

Just a few seasons ago, Juventus were the dominant force in Italy and the nation’s only real challenger in the UEFA Champions League. Now, they are already out of the Serie A title race and look very likely to drop out of the UCL at the Group Stage.

So, how did the Old Lady get into this position? And how bad are their troubles? We’ve got everything you need to know right here!

The Killer Lady

It’s no exaggeration to say that Juventus were unstoppable in Italy between 2011 and 2020. Juve won nine Serie A titles in a row in this period and rarely looked challenged throughout this period. These nine years also yielded five Coppa Italia and five Supercoppa Italiana to bring their trophy tally to 19 in nine years, over two per season.

Juve were winning Serie A titles for fun in the 2010s. Image credit: ESPN

The players changed, as did the managers, but the silverware kept rolling through the doors of the Juventus Stadium as if there were a conveyor belt bringing them over.

Even for the most successful club in Italian football history, this run was unprecedented. Interestingly, it mirrored the dominance of Bayern Munich in Germany and Paris Saint-Germain in France, but unlike their European counterparts, this era is now over.

Troubled times

Nothing lasts forever, but Juve haven’t picked themselves up from losing their Serie A crown to Inter Milan in 2021. AC Milan won the title last season and both instances, Juve finished fourth and scraped into the Champions League as a result.

Juve’s loss to Maccabi Haifa is one of the worst in their recent history. Image credit: Sportsnet.ca

It’s the Champions League though, where the results have really dropped off. In the past two seasons, Juventus made the knock-out stages, but went no further thanks to losses to Porto and Villarreal. However, it’s this season that has really seen Juve hit rock bottom.

Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa stunned the Bianconeri to claim a deserved 2-0 victory and keep the Italian side on two points after four matches. Juve’s chances of advancing to the Round of 16 are all but over, as PSG and Benfica look certain to make the next stage.

In Serie A, it’s arguably even worse, as Juve currently sit eighth at the time of writing. To put that in perspective, they’re behind both Udinese and Lazio and only a point ahead of Sassuolo.

Have we seen worse before?

When we think of Juventus and crises, the Calciopoli immediately springs to mind. We won’t get into the specifics, but the long and short of it was that Juve were forcibly relegated to the second tier of Italian football.

Despite this though, club legends such as Pavel Nedved, Alessando del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon all stayed at the club as they earned an immediate return to Serie A.

Juventus were forcibly relegated to Serie B for match fixing. Image credit: 90min

Juventus though, were in a much better position then than now. This is down to the financial situation Juve find themselves in, after seized financial records tell a different story to the narrative that has been pushed by the club.

For the year leading up to 30th June 2022, the club lost a mammoth €254.3m, a figure over 20% higher than the previous year and is despite the club selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United in the same period. By anybody’s standards, that’s a dire financial situation.

Italian authorities are alleging that Juve reported higher transfer figures for players they sold than they actually received, making it appear as though they had higher income than in reality.

The punishment for this offence isn’t clear, but it could be as severe as being demoted to the second tier and being stripped of their 2020 title victory. If that happens, they won’t have the calibre of players in their squad that they had 15 years ago to help them swiftly bounce back.

Results on the pitch aren’t always an indicator of the club’s state off it, but in Juve’s case, it’s a telling sign of a former giant forced onto its knees.

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