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By ESPN Staff

Juventus to curb wages in ethics overhaul

MILAN, May 20 (Reuters) - Italian soccer champions Juventus will introduce salary caps as part of an ethical overhaul after its entire board resigned over a scandal, the vice-president of its main shareholder was quoted as saying on Saturday.

'We're bringing the sport back to the centre, valuing the academies for young players, introducing a salary cap, focusing also on the importance of the educational value of sports,' John Elkann, vice-president of holding firm Ifil and heir to Italy's mighty Agnelli clan, told newspaper La Stampa.

Juventus's share price has halved over the past ten days amid a widening probe into transfer deals and allegations of match-fixing at the club, only three weeks before the national team take to the field at the World Cup in Germany.

It started with the publication of taped telephone calls between the club's former general manager Luciano Moggi and various soccer officials in which they appeared to be fixing matches, and even bragged how they had locked an uncooperative referee in a changing room.

Elkann said introducing an ethical code at Juventus was a priority for the club's new management. Juventus appointed Carlo Sant'Albano as its new chief executive on Friday, replacing Giraudo. Coach Fabio Capello will keep his post.

Asked why Ifil had been unaware of what went on at the club, Elkann said: 'It was impossible for those who were not employed there. The shareholders' level of knowledge is based on the company's official, certified documents.'

He also said Juventus's sponsors were ready to help the club and would not abandon them. Libyan oil firm Tamoil, a top sponsor, has so far declined to comment on its plans.

Ifil owns some 60 percent of Juventus and is also a main shareholder in industrial group Fiat .

Magistrates in Turin, Rome, Naples and Parma are now working on an ever-growing probe into possible crimes including false accounting in transfer deals, illegal gambling, and match-fixing.