Juventus president and vice president of The Super League, Andrea Agnelli spoke to Corriere Dello Sport, in an exclusive interview about the new project.
Here’s what he had to say.
The Super League in 5 points:
“First: no threat to domestic leagues. Indeed, the firm will, apart from the group of twelve cluhs, continue to participate in national competitions, both in the championship and in the cups. Therefore total adherence to what is tradition.”
“Two: since the establishment of the Super League, dialogue with institutions has been encouraged, in our case FIFA and Uefa.”
“Three: what we are doing is perfectly legal. We are exercising a freedom provided for by the Treaty of the European Union, and I consider this to be particularly important.”
“Four: football is experiencing an enormous crisis of appeal that affects the new generations.
“Stadiums closed for a year have recorded. For those with children aged ten, fifteen, twenty, the disaffection is more than palpable: young people are interested in other things. Evidently – and here we enter a macroeconomic sphere – this sad phenomenon has accelerated due to the pandemic.”
“Fifth: and it is perhaps the key point, what we are trying to organize is the best competition in the world.”
But only the rich would benefit from this?
“It is absolutely not like that. Our will is to create a competition that can bring benefits to the entire football pyramid, substantially increasing what is the solidarity distributed to other clubs.”
“A competition, I emphasize, which remains open and provides for five places available to the other clubs.”
Sporting merit to join the league?
“This is part of the dialogue we have requested of the institutions.”
“The biggest problem in the football industry is stability, the reforms of national and international demonstrations are themes that I have heard re-launched during every election campaign of every federal president and of international regulatory bodies.”
“Once they get to occupy positions of responsibility, however, they think about maintaining positions of privilege and monopoly.”
“The crisis is not just financial, but one of loyalty. The younger ones want big events and are not tied to elements of parochialism. My generation was much more so.”
“Some data: 1/3 of world fans follow at least two clubs and often these two are present among the founders of the Super League.”
“10% are fascinated by great players, not clubs. 2/3 follow football for what is now called ‘fomo’, fear of missing out, fear of being cut off. And now the most alarming percentage: 40% of children between 15 and 24 years old have no interest in football.”
“We need a competition capable of opposing what they reproduce on digital platforms, transforming the virtual into real. Through Fifa you create your own competition, that competition has to be brought back to the real world.”
“Let’s leave out the effects of the competition of the various Fortnite, Call of Duty etc., authentic catalysts of the attention of today’s kids destined to be tomorrow’s spenders.”
My response to Čeferin?
“I worked for almost ten years in international sports institutions. Well, these hold the control of the demonstrations, a de facto monopoly, without however facing any economic risk.”
“The economic risk falls exclusively on the clubs. I was unable to make those institutions understand the enormity of the entrepreneurial risk for clubs that generate value for all football stakeholders. Or maybe they had no interest in understanding it. It was necessary to change things.”
The media and Čeferin’s reaction?
“I had assumed that there would be such a reaction. As for the details and dynamics of personal life, I would prefer not to comment because they comment for themselves.”
“The political will for a change in the direction of the league of the strongest has been manifesting for twenty, thirty years. We didn’t invent hot water. What has not been understood is the terrible impact of the pandemic on the world of football.”
“The highest institution of European football in December 2020 thought that the pandemic would not do any damage, if you don’t believe it, go and read the statements again.”
“I reiterate that Uefa does not run any risk in the activity it regulates, it only benefits from it. They manage our rights, sell them, decide how many to redistribute, and regulate us. The 2019 reform was a Uefa proposal, as soon as they heard a minimum of noise they ran away. They talk about distributing and redistributing the revenues we generate and this can be done in a much better way.”
“They choose what they want to be. All of us are born as a game and have statutes and rules of the game, but we can no longer roll the dice and see what number comes out, today we are a 25 billion industry.”
“Before the last letter sent, I called Dal Pino, as an act of courtesy. “Paolo, we found ourselves in a stalemate” I explained to him “this stalemate derives from the management of the funds proposal.”
“Never having brought that issue to the agenda from February 3rd to March 26th led to a split in fact. The president is a guarantee figure and in our opinion he did not play this role in the good and healthy management of the League.”
“The Championship playoff to access the Premier is worth about 150 million, that gives stability.”
“The top clubs transfer wealth, pay me the balance of the year-over-year transfer campaign and see how much we affect. We also live with the pressure of the result. If we lose two games in a row, you will see titles as”Photonic Crisis”.”
“In Germany for eight years in a row Bayern have won, in France it’s always PSG. In Italy in 100 years of Serie A, the title has been won 80 times by Juve, Inter and Milan.”
“These are statistics, I could organize a symposium on the evolution of the market and the impact of television rights on the geography of European football.”
“I do not deny the dream, but I underline an aspect that I find absurd. I have been in football since 2010 and in 2010 Juve received 100 million euros from the system. In 2020-21 it always took 100 million euros, the same figure in eleven years of development, while we went from a turnover of 170 to one of 550, investing 450 million in infrastructure.”
“We brought Cristiano to Italy and his presence alone guaranteed the other clubs 4 million at the box office. We wish to continue importing more champions with benefits for all levels of football, from the youngest to the amateurs.”
“I never thought I was wrong to get Ronaldo, I would do it again in the morning. Same goes for Pirlo.”