Juventus owner backs accountant as new chairman with end to Andrea Agnelli era - Kalkine Media

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MILAN (Reuters) -The Agnelli family, through its holding company Exor, proposed accountant Gianluca Ferrero as the new chairman of Juventus on Tuesday, after the board of the Serie A soccer club, chaired by Andrea Agnelli, resigned.

Juventus announced the board's resignation late on Monday, as being "in the best interest of the company".

The news came after its financial statements recently drew scrutiny from prosecutors and Italian market regulator Consob over accusations of false accounting and market manipulation, although the company had denied any wrongdoing.

Shares in Juventus fell as much as 10.4% at the opening on Tuesday. By 1010 GMT they were down 3%.

Amsterdam-based Exor, which controls Juventus with about 64% of shares and about 78% of voting rights, said it would indicate Ferrero for the role of chairman at a shareholder meeting the soccer club has called on Jan. 18 to appoint a new board.

It will also present its full slate of candidates for the new board, it added.

A source close to Exor said Juventus' new board would have to be focused on lawyers and corporate governance experts to help shield the company from the investigations.

On Monday, Juventus said its directors had concluded current issues would be best addressed by a new board, given "the pending legal, technical and accounting matters".

It added it would have to restate its financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 2022.

The company has appointed Maurizio Scanavino as general manager, to take charge of sport management, while Chief Executive Maurizio Arrivabene will keep his position on a temporary basis.

Andrea Agnelli, a prominent member of the controlling family who has chaired Juventus since 2010, will not seek re-appointment, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The board reshuffle is a turning point in the club's recent history, after Andrea Agnelli led Juventus to win nine national leagues in a row.

However, in 2021, he suffered a setback in his attempt to launch the breakaway Super League project with other leading European football clubs.

Sponsored as a way to revamp European football, the project collapsed after a hostile reaction from across the game and fans and governments alike.

In a letter to Juventus staff seen by Reuters, Andrea Agnelli described the company situation as "delicate".

"When the team is not cohesive it becomes vulnerable and that can be fatal," he wrote.

"This is when you need to keep calm and contain damages: the company is going through a delicate phase and we're no longer cohesive. Better to quit all together, giving the chance to a new team to turn the game around."

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Giulio Piovaccari; Writing by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)


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