Italian soccer giants Juventus have been banned from competing in next season’s third-tier pan-European Europa Conference League (ECL) after breaching governing body UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, while English club Chelsea have been fined.

Along with the ban, Juventus have been ordered to pay an initial fine of €10 million ($11 million) for breaking FFP rules. A further €10 million penalty can still be imposed should the club fail to comply with UEFA financial monitoring rules in future seasons.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) will notify UEFA of which club will replace Juventus in the ECL, with Fiorentina a likely candidate having participated in last year’s final against winners West Ham and finishing eighth at the end of the 2022-23 Serie A season.

Juventus’ punishment comes from a false accounting case that saw the club fined €718,000 and docked 10 points in the top-tier Serie A.

They were initially handed a 15-point penalty in January, but Italy’s top sporting court overturned that decision in April and a 10-point deduction was enforced in May.

The deduction saw them drop from finishing in the top four and qualifying for a place in the top-tier Champions League to finishing seventh and qualifying for the ECL. AC Milan qualified for the Champions League in their place.

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By GlobalData

In addition, key officials including former vice-chair Pavel Nedved and sporting director Fabio Paratici, who subsequently moved to English club Tottenham Hotspur, were fined by FIGC.

In a statement, Juventus president Gianluca Ferrero said the club would not appeal the verdict but added: “We regret the decision of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body. We do not share the interpretation that has been given of our defense and we remain firmly convinced of the legitimacy of our actions and the validity of our arguments.

“However, we have decided not to appeal this judgment. Despite this painful decision, we can now face the new season by focusing on the field and not on the courts.”

In a separate case, UEFA has also fined Chelsea €10 million for filing incorrect financial information between 2012 and 2019 when the club was owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

A new ownership group led by Todd Boehly and private investment firm Clearlake Capital completed their takeover of the club last May after Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK over his links to Russia president Vladimir Putin amid its invasion of Ukraine.

UEFA confirmed it was approached “proactively” by the Boehly-led consortium about the incomplete information.

A Chelsea statement read: “Chelsea has fully cooperated and assisted UEFA with its investigation of these matters and, following an analysis by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body, the club has entered into a settlement agreement with UEFA. Under that settlement, the club is to pay a financial contribution of €10 million to UEFA as a fixed payment.

“In accordance with the club's ownership group's core principles of full compliance and transparency with its regulators, we are grateful that this case has been concluded by proactive disclosure of information to UEFA and a settlement that fully resolves the reported matters.

“We wish to place on record our gratitude to UEFA for its consideration of this matter. Chelsea greatly values its relationship with UEFA and looks forward to building on that relationship in the years to come.”

Chelsea, who won the Champions League in 2012 and 2021, did not qualify for any European competitions for next season, having placed 12th during the 2022-23 Premier League season – the club’s lowest finish since the 1993-94 season.

The club, meanwhile, has spent around $771 million in transfers since the new ownership’s arrival, with former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino now tasked with turning the club’s poor run of form around.

The two decisions come a week after UEFA overturned its ban on Spain’s Osasuna competing in the upcoming ECL season after concluding the club should not be punished for historic match-fixing by former club officials 10 years ago.

UEFA initially banned Osasuna from participating in the competition for the 2023-24 campaign earlier this month due to former club officials having been implicated in a match-fixing scandal between 2012 and 2014, which led to convictions in 2020.

Image: Giuseppe Cottini/Getty Images