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Juventus owner Andrea Agnelli showed his support for expanding the Champions League in football before favoring the revolutionary project of the Super League, which was officially announced on Monday. In return for being praised for bringing back life to Juventus after a historic fraud scandal, some see him as a promoter of tournaments restricted to the rich.
Agnelli finally said that the European Champions League, which the Confederation (UEFA) will subject to reforms on Monday, is “very, very close to an ideal Champions League”, before his resignation Sunday from his position as president of the European Club Association.
The League has worked a lot on a new form for the Champions League, but Agnelli, on Monday night, was among the 12 clubs launching the Special Super League that will compete with the Champions League in declaring war against the Confederacy.
Agnelli’s theatrical resignation does not surprise those who see him already as an administrator working only for wealthy clubs before soccer.
In a scathing editorial, the French newspaper L’Equipe last February described Agnelli as “the most damaging man to the global idea of this game.” The British newspaper “The Guardian” also shot the Italian with arrows, saying that he “is trying to secure additional funds for the already rich clubs, regardless of good or bad management.”
From Fordism to globalization
“Developing the Champions League has always been his constant idea, above all, to increase its economic value,” he explains to La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Marco Iaria, referring to Agnelli’s admiration for American football and the “Super Bowl” match.
However, until now, Agnelli has not publicly defended the closed Super League.
Andrea was born in Turin 45 years ago and trained in marketing with several experiences in Italy and abroad.
The businessman, with thick eyebrows and a dark beard, has laid out his vision of globalizing football with Juventus since 2010.
He assumed the presidency of the club, which was shaken by a doping scandal, and was promoted to the second division in 2006, but Umberto Agnelli’s son made a revolution in the “old lady” by diversifying activities (hotel, museum), developing sponsorship, creating the slogan to make it more “international”. He succeeded in this context, and the club’s shares made a big rise.
Historian Giovanni de Luna, author of a book on the history of the club says, “Giovanni Agnelli (his uncle, the former owner of Fiat Cars) embodied Fordism (the principle of work and organization of production) on football, and Andrea Agnelli is the embodiment of globalization in sport, in the wake of the Fiat company that became Fully globalized. ”
“Whether or not this future is in favor of football, I don’t know, but Agnelli is in for a completely new football.”
– ‘Operation Ronaldo’ –
Also on the field, Juventus soared with nine successive league titles between 2012 and 2020.
He reached the top in 2018 after contracting the five-time best player in the world, Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, with a big deal. Even if opinions differ after three years, due to the continuing failure in the Champions League and the close proximity of the Bianconeri to losing his domestic title.
“The Ronaldo process was first and foremost a merger between two brands. It achieved important results with titles, but in my view it led to internal imbalances in Juventus,” added Da Luna.
In economic terms, “this process remains good, as it culminated in a strategy aimed at making Juventus a global brand, thanks to the reputation of Ronaldo,” according to Giovanni Palazzi, an official in the “Stage Up” consulting company in the world of sports.
A brand that Agnelli intends to continue developing through the “Super League”, while his club suffers economically from the repercussions of the Corona virus and is a sportsman with his new coach Andrea Pirlo, who has so far failed in his duties with the team heading to lose the title crowned for ten consecutive years.
© 2021 AFP