A Turin judge on Monday began examining whether former Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, 11 others and the club itself should appear in court over allegations of miscalculations at Italy's most successful football club.

The preliminary proceedings were held on the first day of the hearing, which was held behind closed doors, and the hearing is expected to last several months, after which Judge Marco Pico will decide whether to order a trial.

Last December, prosecutors requested that all the defendants be sent to trial after investigating the club's accounts and statements submitted to financial markets over the last three years.

Prosecutors in Turin allege that the club reduced its financial losses for three seasons: 3-2018, 2019-2019 and 2020-2020.

The prosecution looked at the values attributed to player transfers between clubs and if, as stated, salaries were deducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, or simply postponed until a later date.

Juventus denied any wrongdoing and said their calculations were in line with industry standards in the game.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Juventus (@juventus)

The case has sparked strong emotions in football-obsessed Italy. Juventus, owned by the Agnelli family for a century, have strong support in much of the country, but their success has upset rival fans.

One of the three prosecutors in charge of the case against the club stepped down last week after previous insulting comments he made about Juve and his public endorsement of Serie A rivals Napoli went viral.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Juventus (@juventus)

Agnelli resigned as Juventus president and the rest of the club's board also resigned in late November, days before prosecutors requested the trial.

The criminal investigation in Turin triggered a separate investigation into Juventus' finances by the Italian sports authority, resulting in a 15-point deduction from their league tally this season.

Napoli, who lead the league by 19 points before the last 11 rounds, appear to be on track to win the title for only the third time in their history.