All in the space of 24 hours, the problems mounted up for Juventus. It was bad enough for the Italian giants when Frenchman Paul Pogba was provisionally banned after a failed drug test. It got even worse when former club legend, Leonardo Bonucci decided to take legal action against his former club.
In the past few years, the ‘Old Lady’ have had their fair share of problems on and off the pitch. Their original 15-point deduction was revoked in April this year and the Champions League looked like a formality. Disaster then struck. Just a month later, as repercussions for the plusvalenze scandal, the punishment was re-established as a 10-point deduction. A seventh-place finish was the result and Juventus thought the Conference League awaited…
This was not to be the case. UEFA found the Italians to have broken financial fair play regulations as they tried to cover up their losses during the Pandemic. No European football for the first time since the 2011/12 season was the consequence.
A rebuild was needed. Under fire coach, Massimiliano Allegri would have wanted a quick start to their league campaign. They did exactly this as they sit 3rd in Serie A, with 7 points out of a possible 9.
Pain for Pogba
Juventus would have been hoping for a quiet two weeks during the international break with the aim of continuing their form afterwards but this did not happen. Breaking news broke on the 11th September that Paul Pogba had failed a random drug test for elevated levels of testosterone, following their game with Udinese on the 20th August.
The former Manchester United player must now await his fate. If found guilty in his second sample as well, Pogba could face a ban of up to four years. The Frenchman’s troubles have been for everyone to see in the past few years. Countless injury problems and now this.
Juventus could tear up the World Cup winner’s contract. There are doubts as to whether Pogba will play football again if the punishment is severe. This would be an incredibly disappointing end to such a talented player’s career. Many believe his potential was never reached even despite playing for some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Legal action for legendary defender
This was not the end for Juventus. More news broke the day after. Legendary defender Leonardo Bonucci is taking legal action against his former club. The Italian defender has just recently moved to German club Union Berlin in the summer. Bonucci is claiming he did not have access to all the training ground facilities while also being made to train at different times.
He believed the club damaged him by doing this. As a result, Bonucci claims they nearly hindered his chance at a good transfer. The manager had revealed in pre-season that he was no longer in his plans. The Italian claims he was not given access to the gym and no coaches were watching him train. If he were to win this case, the money would be given to two charities close to Bonucci, Neuroland and NGO.
How does Juve move forward?
This is not the drama Juventus needed. Losing Pogba on the pitch is a loss in itself never mind the drama surrounding it. It is yet another scandal Allegri and his men now have. Also, an ex-Juventus legend taking legal action is severely damaging to the club’s reputation. Fans must be asking why a club legend was treated this way.
Allegri must settle the ship and make sure the focus is on Serie A. A tough game against last years second place Lazio is up next. They can try and put all this in the rearview mirror by having a successful campaign. This is easier said than done and Allegri has his work cut out.