A leaked internal memo has revealed the shocking truth behind Italian giants Juventus’ frugal transfer policy: they have been saving up to travel into the past and prevent the creation of the controversial Video Assistant Referee system.
The Bianconeri, whose knack for snapping up players at the end of their contracts has seen the likes of Dani Alves, Sami Khedira, Kingsley Coman and Paul Pogba arrive at the Allianz Stadium on free transfers in recent years, have long been lauded for their responsible approach to financing player recruitment; but the 33-time champions of Italy can now expect to suffer a sharp decline in public opinion, following the revelation that it has all been for the purpose of sending someone into the past to reverse what they fear could be a dangerous levelling of the playing field.
Not since the 1984/85 season – when it was decided that referees would be assigned to games at random, rather than at the discretion of a panel of representatives – has there been such panic in the corridors of power in Turin. The board are concerned that the increased scrutiny brought about by the growth of online journalism means that getting rid of VAR won’t be as simple as bribing or intimidating league officials. Back in 1985, when the aforementioned changes to refereeing led to Hellas Verona winning their one and only Scudetto, it was merely a case of quietly going back to the old way of doing things. Now, however, the media landscape has changed to such a degree that covert policy changes are no longer possible.
With the reigning Serie A champions currently sitting uncomfortably in second place, just one point behind leaders Napoli, manager Max Allegri is believed to have made a plea for reinforcements during the January transfer window, only to have been met with the response that has set the internet ablaze.
‘I’m sorry, but buying more players is not an option at this moment,’ chairman Andrea Agnelli said in the leaked document. ‘VAR is even worse than we feared, and now we must focus our efforts on that front. Pavel has been watching Terminator, Back to the Future and the Trunks Saga of Dragonball Z every day for a month now – he is almost ready. If it’s true that Leon Goretzka has chosen Bayern, you’ll just have to make do with Jack Wilshire or whoever else is going for bugger all in the summer.’
Juventus have so far declined to comment on the authenticity of the memo.