Juventus chairman and founder of the proposed European Super League Andrea Agnelli said on Friday that he “challenges anyone” to say that current system of professional football is satisfactory, as he again called for reform.
Agnelli’s Juve, as well as Barcelona and Real Madrid, were the last of the 12 clubs who signed up to the Super League in April not to have distanced themselves from the breakaway project.
The proposal unravelled quickly after widespread condemnation. Nine rebel clubs who had quickly pulled out of the breakaway, including Manchester United and Liverpool, agreed to pay a combined £22million to Uefa as a “gesture of goodwill”.
Agnelli, however, is still not giving up hope of making changes to the game.
“Beyond the results, I challenge anyone to say that the current professional football system can be considered satisfactory,” Agnelli told a shareholder meeting at the Juventus Stadium.
“What I find surprising is that any reform proposal is set aside, whether it be competition, governance or trade. For 10 years I have collaborated to change the system.
“When it was decided that the fourth place in Italy or another country has more rights than a team from another championship, the logic is commercial and not sporting. In that moment there was a scandal, but what was created was the Champions League, which is considered one of the best competitions in the world.”
Juventus’ shareholders were meeting to approve the club’s 2020/21 budget and a capital increase of up to €400m.
Last month, Uefa nullified disciplinary action against breakaway Super League clubs Real, Barca and Juventus after a Madrid court ruled that European football’s governing body should not sanction the rebel teams.
Agnelli also insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Juventus for Manchester United in August after three seasons in Turin, will be seen as a Juve success story, but one who had to move on for the good of the club.
“It was an honour and a pleasure to have him here,” Agnelli added. “What has been done on the pitch, we can only applaud him and thank him. The sin is having had it with a year-and-a-half in an empty stadium.
“However, Juventus is bigger than everyone, than anyone who has participated. Juventus comes before anyone.”
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