Juventus wins appeal of 15-point penalty, vaults up to third in Serie A standings

The win has big ramifications in the race for the Champions League

The logo of Juventus is pictured on the jersey of Juventus' Argentinian forward Angel Di Maria during the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals first leg football match between Juventus and Sporting CP, on April 13, 2023 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP) (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
Juventus is now third in the Serie A standings. (Photo by Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images)

Juventus is back in the top three of the Serie A standings. For now, anyway.

The team has won its appeal of a 15-point penalty related to alleged accounting breaches and moves from seventh to third in the standings. In January, Juventus was accused of artificially inflating the value of transfer fees to manipulate its reported finances and received the penalty from Italy’s soccer federation. The club immediately appealed the decision.

Juventus was investigated for the way it valued players in swap deals with other clubs. In 2020, Juventus and Barcelona swapped Miralem Pjanic and Arthur Melo. Juventus received Melo and sent $14 million to Barcelona with Pjanic. The two clubs each then listed the values of the players at over $60 million in their attempts to comply with FIFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

That move and other transfer dealings were viewed skeptically not only through the prism of Financial Fair Play, but also because Juve is a publicly listed company. Yahoo Sports’ Henry Bushnell wrote a thorough explainer of the allegations against Juventus in January and it’s important to note that Italian authorities can also appeal this ruling in favor of the club.

Why the revocation of Juve's penalty is significant

The penalty has massive ramifications for both Juventus, the rest of the teams at the top of Serie A and even could impact the semifinals of this year’s Champions League.

Juventus basically had no hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League through Serie A after it was knocked out in the group stage and received the 15-point penalty. But now that it’s back in third, Juventus is currently in position to qualify for next season’s Champions League through its position in the league table.

The top four teams in Serie A automatically qualify for the Champions League. While Napoli will undoubtedly win the league with a 14-point lead on Lazio with eight games remaining, Juventus now has 59 points. That’s two fewer than Lazio and three more than Roma, six more than AC Milan and eight more than Inter Milan.

The appeal decision hurts Inter Milan the most. It’s now 5 points out of the top four instead of 3 back of fourth and has to pass two teams instead of one to get to the top four.

One of those teams is AC Milan, which now sits in fifth and is three back of the top four instead of sitting in fourth. AC Milan and Inter Milan play each other in the semifinals of the Champions League after their quarterfinal wins this week and have two routes to Champions League qualification next year since the winner of the Champions League automatically qualifies for the following year’s competition.

The winner of the Milan derby will play either Manchester City or Real Madrid for the title June 10. By that point, the Serie A season will be over and the semifinal winner — if it’s out of the top four — may also have a spot in next season’s competition on the line.