Juventus: Why the Bianconeri Must Sack Conte to Avoid Match-Fixing Scandal

Mikhail TurnerContributor IIIAugust 7, 2012

SALERNO, ITALY - AUGUST 04:  Antonio Conte the coach of FC Juventus looks on during the pre-season friendly match between FC Juventus and Malaga CF at Stadio Arechi on August 4, 2012 in Salerno, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Juventus returned to the top of Italian football in emphatic fashion with an undefeated Serie A campaign and a league title.

But just like the last time they won a Serie A title back in 2005-06, the season ended with a cloud over the Turin club.

On the pitch, Andrea Pirlo was credited for pulling the strings but it was the man off it—Antonio Conte—who masterminded the whole thing.

Since the end of the season, Conte has been embroiled in the latest match-fixing scandal in Italy and he may very well face a ban for the majority of the 2012-13 season.

While his alleged actions were not performed during his time as Juventus' coach, the "Old Lady" would do well to take some action of their own.

Conte apparently felt okay with his hearing but recent news suggest nothing good has come of it. His plea bargain was rejected, leaving the door open for the aforementioned possible ban.

With Conte facing a ban, Juventus needs to sack their manager to continue their success on the pitch and distance themselves from actions that threw the club into disarray for a few years.

While the allegations against Conte only pertain to his time at Siena from 2010 to 2012, the proposed ban, for whatever length of time, will have a negative effect on Juventus.

The uncertainty surrounding Conte's situation is already having an effect for the club off the pitch with Robin Van Persie and his camp reportedly wary of the club and one of Conte's backroom staff, who worked with him at Siena, recently resigning.

On top of that, Conte's absence from the sidelines during the early part of the season will certainly have a negative effect on the club, even if he is able to train players during the week.

Conte's tactical planning and his ability to lead a team of veterans like Alessandro Del Piero and Andrea Pirlo through an undefeated season says much for his managerial skill. But that is all useless if he's banned from the sidelines for some amount of time, or possibly a whole season.

Conte chose not to sit on the sidelines during a recent friendly that the club was involved in, possibly to prepare his team for what they may face in the coming months.

A club like Juventus should have no problem finding a quality manager to replace Conte, who was in his first season in charge of a big club.

Though it may seem harsh for Juventus to do away with a man who was an integral part in their return to success in Italy, they will also want to make sure they are no longer a part of any discussion surrounding match-fixing in their league.

They could stand by their manager and might be rewarded by their players' performance throughout the season. But after their experience with the Calciopoli scandal, they should make it clear they will stand for no such actions.

Given the quality of players on the team, Juventus could survive Conte's ban. But it would be better if they moved forward with a new man leading the club.