Juventus' hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League were dealt a hammer blow on Monday, even before they suffered a damaging 4-1 loss to Empoli.
The Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) appeals court announced a 10-point deduction for the Turin giants 15 minutes before they took to the field at Stadio Carlo Castellani.
The points deduction, following a revision of their initial 15-point penalty over illicit transfer activity, saw Juventus drop down to seventh in Serie A on 59 points and in danger of missing out on a top-four finish and a potential return to the lucrative Champions League.
But can things get any worse for Juventus? The answer is yes.
Missing out on the Champions League
Riding high in second place Monday morning, although a hefty 18 points behind champions Napoli, the points deduction saw Juve drop five places. It leaves Max Allegri's side five points behind AC Milan – their next opponents this Sunday – in fourth, before they close out their campaign away to Udinese on June 4.
Juve need to win both games to have any hope of finishing fourth, and hope Milan also lose their final match against Verona.
Even that may not be enough with fifth-placed Atalanta (61 points) and sixth-placed Roma (60 points) also in the hunt. Roma can also qualify for the Champions League if they win next month's Europa League final against Sevilla.
A run to this season's Europa League semi-finals – Juventus were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Sevilla – offered proof of the record 36-time Italian champions' pedigree on the continent. Missing out on another season of Champions League football, though, would be a huge blow to the two-time European Cup winners.
Being found guilty of illicit transfer activity by the Italian league is likely to pave the way for further punishment by European football's governing body.
In September 2022, Uefa fined Juventus €3.5 million for Financial Fair Play violations, with another €19.5m fine to be issued if they failed to stick to the agreements signed.
These agreements are now under scrutiny by Uefa as the balance sheets provided to them by Juventus were the same ones the FIGC appeals court based their 10-point punishment on.
Should Juventus qualify for any Uefa competition next season, they could, potentially, be excluded.
Failure to qualify for the Champions League would see Juventus miss out on at least €50 million. Missing out on European football altogether would likely have several prominent players questioning their futures with the OId Lady.
Juve already know they will no longer be able to call on the totemic Leonardo Bonucci, the most gnarled of gnarled Italian defenders, following his decision to retire at the end of the season.
Midfielders Manuel Locatelli and Leandro Paredes are out of contact in June, while Adrien Rabiot, whose contract also expires this summer, is a long-term target of Manchester United.
Federico Chiesa is also the subject of interest from the likes of Liverpool and Inter Milan. The latter will contest next month's Champions League final against Manchester City.
Regardless of the outcome of that final in Turkey, Inter can secure a return to Europe's top table next season if they can beat Fiorentina or Atalanta in their remaining Serie A fixtures. A fate that looks increasingly beyond Juve.