Massimiliano Allegri said Saturday that nothing had changed for his Juventus team despite the Serie A club being hit with a massive points deduction for using transfers to artificially boost their balance sheet.
Juve were docked 15 points by the Italian Football Federation on Friday evening, pushing them down from third to 10th in Serie A and greatly compromising their chances of making next season’s Champions League.
Allegri’s team face Atalanta on Sunday night 12 points from the top four as the season reaches its halfway point, and the coach tried to deflect questions on the impact Friday’s ruling would have on their campaign, and players.
“We need to close the first half of the season in the best way possible, after yesterday we need to stay tight as a group, keep our heads down and work… we can only think about what happens on the pitch,” Allegri told reporters.
“Nothing changes, we need to get points, tomorrow will be difficult because Atalanta are playing well and in good shape… We need to take it one step at a time.”
Juventus said they would appeal the decision of the FIGC court to not just deduct points but also hand out a swathe of bans to the club’s previous leadership and current sporting director Federico Cherubini.
Cherubini was suspended for 16 months while former chairman Andrea Agnelli and ex-CEO Maurizio Arrivabene were both banned for two years while a 30-month suspension was given to former sporting director Fabio Paratici, now at Tottenham Hotspur.
The club’s legal team branded the ruling, in which all eight other clubs accused in the trial were acquitted, “a clear injustice”.
Juve have one shot at overturning the FIGC’s decision, at the country’s highest sporting court at the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).
Within the next two months the CONI court will either uphold or throw out the sanctions handed down by the FIGC, and Allegri wants his team to keep going just in case that ruling goes in Juve’s favour.
“We had 37 points before yesterday’s ruling, a point from second place with a chance for a place in the Champions League and maybe a shot at the title,” added Allegri.
“So we need to keep doing what we need to do because the final ruling will be within the next two months.
“We don’t want to be two months down the line and regret not doing what we were supposed to do.”