Serie A clubs Juventus and Livorno will reportedly have to pay Chelsea €21 million in damages over the transfer of Adrian Mutu following his 2005 move to Serie A.
Mutu joined Livorno before moving on to Juventus on a free transfer as a result of Serie A limits on non-EU signings.
However, Chelsea argued that despite sacking the Romanian for testing positive in a drug test, they should have received a fee.
This week, Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport are reporting (via Football Italia) that FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber will rule that the clubs should bear the cost—not Mutu, as was the original decision.
The report on Football Italia states:
Juventus and Livorno will reportedly have to pay Chelsea €21m as a result of his move to Italy in January 2005.
Mutu was available after he was sacked by the Premier League club in October of the previous year for failing a drugs test. Chelsea argued that they should have received a fee and FIFA initially ruled that the striker would need to pick up the cost.
However, the Gazzetta dello Sport now claims that FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber have decided the two Italian clubs will have to hand over €21m in damages – which includes €3.3m in interest.
For Livorno in particular, the fee could be hugely damaging, depending on how much they are ordered to pay.
While the report states that president Aldo Spinelli insists, "we have very little to do with this," it could become a major issue for the recently promoted Serie A club.
Mutu is now in his second season with French club Ajaccio following seven years in Italy. In the end, he would make just 32 appearances for Juventus before moving on to Fiorentina for €8 million, per Soccerway.
Having to pay up a substantial percentage of the fee that Chelsea are owed, then, would represent a major loss for the Old Lady—and a loss that is having interest added by the day.
With Chelsea having paid Parma £15.8 million for his services in 2003, per the Daily Mail Online, it is no surprise that they should hope to recoup their loss from either the player or his subsequent club.
While Mutu, who served a suspension as punishment for his misdemeanour, should not be expected to foot the bill for his move, Juventus should have expected all along to have to pay some kind of fee for the player.
The matter is unlikely to be cleared up for some time, with both Italian clubs likely to challenge any ruling. The total amount owed, though, will continue to rise with each subsequent delay to the payment, and there will come a point where someone will be forced to settle the debt with Chelsea.