Agnelli reiterates Super League belief in Juve farewell speech

By Sports Desk January 18, 2023

Ex-Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli used a farewell speech to reiterate his belief in a European Super League.

Agnelli, along with Pavel Nedved and the rest of Juve's board, resigned last year amid an investigation into alleged tax fraud.

Juve have denied the allegations, on the back of the club registering a record loss of €254.3million for 2021-22. 

Agnelli, who had held his position since 2010, bowed out officially on Wednesday, though in an address to Juve's shareholders, insisted he is still firmly backing the plan for a Super League.

Along with his counterparts at Real Madrid and Barcelona, Agnelli has stood by the proposals made in April 2021, and is showing no sign of movement on that front.

"My job has always been to understand and guide the strategic direction of society," he said. "When we talk about football, we boil it down to the action on the pitch, but football is part of the entertainment industry.

"When we talk about the sports industry, we are talking about a €140 billion industry of which football is worth a large slice.

"We have seen economic transactions, and we have seen the entry of funds with percentage transfers from companies and leagues.

"When I was president of the ECA [European Clubs Association] and of the UEFA executive committee, the analysis was evident. There was no club sustainability, a vertical polarisation of interest towards only two leagues, access to very risky financial instruments and fan disaffection.

"The proposal at the time was the creation of a league system with access different from the classic ones. This proposal was made in 2019.

"If I personally wanted to maintain a privileged situation, I would not have taken the decisions of April 2021.

"I think European football needs a new system, otherwise it risks a decrease in favour of a single dominant league, i.e. the Premier League, marginalising all the others.

"The hope is that the European Court of Justice recognises professional sport as an industry, since the turnover of football is €55 billion. I thank Real Madrid and Barcelona who, together with Juventus, had the courage to face the threats from UEFA."

Agnelli confirmed he will take a step back from "listed companies" altogether, and instead serve as an advisor.

Juve great Nedved, who served as vice-president, said: "Every day I was able to learn something, I had the opportunity to make my contribution, I became vice-president, a job made up of relationships, speeches, words, but also of passion.

"Thanks to you [Agnelli]... we have discussed and argued, but we have strengthened our relationship. I know how much you love Juventus, how much you sacrificed yourself, and it was an honour to work alongside you."

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