Juventus, the Italian football giants, have received a 10-point deduction, which has improved Arsenal’s prospects of qualifying for the Champions League.
This penalty has caused Juventus to fall out of the top four positions in the Serie A standings.
And it means that failing to beat AC Milan on Sunday will end their hope of Champions League qualification for next season – and ensure the Gunners will be in the second seeding pot for the group stage draw in August.
The final verdict by Italian FA Court of Appeal is the latest development in a long-running saga.
In January, Juve were found guilty of a transfer scam over three seasons, which was orchestrated by then-sporting director Fabio Paratici, who joined Spurs in 2021.
Juventus were judged to have inflated transfer fees in dealings with other Italian clubs to create millions of pounds in “capital gains” for tax purposes.
That allowed the club to spend more in the market than would have been allowed under Financial Fair Play regulations.
The Turin outfit was initially handed a 15-point deduction, when senior club figures including ex-President Andrea Agnelli and Paratici were handed lengthy bans.
Although the points punishment was suspended last month, pending yesterday’s hearing, Paratici resigned from his role at Tottenham after his ban was confirmed.
Prosecutor Giuseppe Chine, on behalf of the Italian FA, demanded an 11-point penalty at the start of a three-hour virtual hearing on Monday.
Juventus argued that the punishment should not be so severe because the breaches took place under Agnelli’s leadership of the club and that there had subsequently been a major overhaul of the board.
But the tribunal imposed the major punishment in a verdict which the club suggested it might still appeal.
Juventus said: “This judgment arouses great bitterness in the club and in its millions of supporters.”
UEFA have already opened proceedings which could result in a European ban for the Italian club.
But if Juve are not in next season’s Champions League, Arsenal will be assured of a place in the second group of seeds and avoid a potential nightmare draw in the group phase.