'Public will move away from football' – Agnelli warning as former Juve chief reiterates Super League support

By Sports Desk February 25, 2023

Former Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli has reiterated his support for a European Super League, predicting fans "will move away from football" if the project fails.

Agnelli, who left Juve last November amid an investigation into their financial dealings, has been one of the most vocal supporters of the Super League.

Juventus, along with Barcelona and Real Madrid, remained committed to the controversial project after fierce opposition from fans, media and players caused an attempted 2021 launch to fail.

Speaking to De Telegraaf in his first interview since leaving the Bianconeri, Agnelli laid out his reasons for supporting a breakaway European competition with a league format.

"UEFA's monopoly must be broken to give clubs a financially stable future," he said. "A future in which clubs don't fall if they don't qualify for European competitions once.

"This is a problem for any club. "With such uncertainty, it's not possible as a club to make sustainable and sound long-term decisions.

"This is why I'm in favour of a league system at the top in European football, with more financial and sporting opportunities for every club. It's necessary, because if it remains predictable like now, the public will move away from football."

 

Agnelli said that of the clubs he has spoken with, "many are in favour" of a new-look football landscape.

 

The future of the Super League depends largely on the Court of Justice of the European Union, which will soon rule on whether FIFA and UEFA would be breaching EU competition law by sanctioning clubs for taking part in breakaway tournaments.

With the competition's supporters awaiting that judgement, Agnelli says the predictable nature of many domestic competitions necessitates change.

He said: "Whether it eventually catches on will partly depend on the European Court of Justice.

"Why didn't I fight for change in UEFA from within? Internally it was a war that I failed to win. Even knowing that the current system does not offer a future to Ajax, Anderlecht, Celtic, Benfica, Panathinaikos and Red Star Belgrade and many others."

He added: "Apart from the lack of financial stability, the winners of many championships, national and international, are practically known in advance. Especially thanks to the income that clubs get from the transfer market.

"England lead the way in this respect, and you can see how sumptuously the Premier League is represented in the final stages of European cup tournaments, with Spain close behind and some clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

"But in a sporting competition it is important that every participant has the chance to win. So also Ajax, Feyenoord and Juventus.

 

"As a football fan, I strongly support such an international competition, unlike the international federations. As rulers, they want to keep everything as it is. They oppose any change. That's why the system isn't future-proof."

It remains to be seen whether Agnelli could have any personal involvement in a Super League – though the 47-year-old has not ruled out a return to Juventus.

He was suspended from football for two years by the Italian FA (FIGC) in January after the investigation into the Turin club's finances.

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