The president of Juventus, Andrea Agnelli , entrusts his thoughts on various issues in the Juventus world to a letter addressed to the club’s shareholders.
Below is the full text of the letter, published today on the official website of the club: “Dear Shareholders, the victories of the last 10 years have been accompanied by an extraordinary development of the Company in terms of revenues, affirmation of the brand in the global and infrastructural panorama. (Stadium and Village), sports planning (Women and U23) and organic.
“I am convinced that Juventus have today, the characteristics suited to meet future challenges. It is fair to point out, however, that in the moment of maximum tension towards the development , with massive financial means made available to the Company, thefootball and Juventus in particular have suffered a severe blow due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The damage caused was enormous. Entire revenue lines disappeared overnight, while the cost base remained unchanged. The system’s overall liquidity shortage is estimated to amount to €8.5 billion.
“The empty stadiums for almost two years are the symbol of what has happened and their reopening must not distract from the limits that football has crudely revealed, exposing all its structural weaknesses.
“Football, accustomed to growing in the last twenty years. in double digits in a totally inelastic way with respect to all the crises that hit the economy and society in the same period, it has developed an excessive confidence within itself which has translated into an excessive confidence in risk.
“The crisis also interrupted the constant growth in the overall value of transactions for the acquisition and sale of servicesof the players (around -50% in 2021 vs 2019), who for many clubs had become a relevant component of the business model to mitigate the sporting risk, which in our industry coincides with the economic-financial risk .
“The overall instability and therefore weakness of the football sector cannot, and must not, be attributed exclusively to the pandemic.
“The large football institutions , which at the beginning performed the function of independent third parties and guarantors of the correct application of the rules, have gradually added to the role of regulators that of organizers, brokers, distributors of the football product and finally earners and distributors of the proceeds.
“The sound and credible planning of a club cannot be based on obsolete system scaffolding , on pain of the collective downsizing of the sector, that is to say the least desirable for football, the most popular sport in the world.
“For years, moreover, we have been talking about Generation Z , its values, its needs. The world after Covid-19 belongs to this new generation which now oscillates between 12 and 21 years of age. Football must remain central in his free time, in his mix of interests. The opportunities provided by the digital revolution can certainly help bring these young people closer together .
“In this sense, the debate and criticism on theuse of “live” games with means other than traditional TV are anachronistic and destined to disappear. In the digitalized world, the user has an enormous power of choice, which cannot be ignored and, therefore, he will choose according to his own inclinations and the values that represent him.
“This is not the right place to go back to the causes of the birth of the Super League , but it is appropriate to take into account the fact that this new competition, which aims to offer the world the best football show , has in its regulations three essential values for the stability of the football industry:
(i) A new shared framework for cost control , which contributes, contrary to what has been stated even in authoritative forums, to the competitive balance of competitions ;
(ii) A strong commitment to solidarity and mutuality.
( iii) The centrality of the performance of clubs in European competitions and their contribution to the development of talents as founding elements of a new concept of sporting “meritocracy” (a concept that cannot be based exclusively on domestic performance in accordance with geopolitical and commercial balances which should remain extraneous to the essence of sport).
“In summary: a new merit-based paradigm and a return to the fundamentals : cost control and transparency, with three categories of stakeholders at the center of the project:
(i) Fans, who dictate the demand for the product;
(ii) Players, the protagonists of the shows – both for club and national competitions;
(iii) Investors, who assume all the entrepreneurial risk of the football industry: a new paradigm that football can not continue to neglect and on the basis of which political dialogue will have to resume.
Nothing should be taken for granted, everything can be improved, rethought, as Edoardo Agnelli saidnow almost a century ago: “We must commit ourselves to do well, but remembering that something done well can always be done better.
“Football is the most popular sport in the world, the black and white colors, like those of many other clubs, have always participated in this show. It is the precise duty of those who represent the Company to guarantee the utmost professionalism, commitment and integrity so that Juventus can keep faith with its history.
“Juventus will be there and the support of my family , for almost a century now, is the most tangible testimony and the best guarantee to continue to play a leading role in the great spectacle of football: sharing the same passion with hundreds of millions of fans around the world.
“Until the end, Andrea Agnelli.”