Former Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli has reiterated his support for a European Super League, predicting that fans will “walk away from football” if the project fails.
Agnelli, who left Juve last November following an investigation into their financial dealings, has been one of the Super League’s most vocal supporters.
Juventus remained committed to the controversial project along with Barcelona and Real Madrid after fierce opposition from fans, media and players saw an attempt to launch in 2021 fall through.
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 that clubs don’t fall into if they don’t even qualify for European competitions.
“That’s a problem for every club.” With such uncertainty, it is not possible for a club to make sustainable and well-founded long-term decisions.
“That’s why I’m in favor of a league system at the top of European football, with more financial and sporting opportunities for each club. It’s necessary because if it stays as predictable as it is now, the public will move away from football.”
Agnelli said that of the clubs he spoke to, “many were for” a redesigned football landscape.
The future of the Super League largely depends on the Court of Justice of the European Union, which will soon rule on whether FIFA and UEFA are breaking EU competition rules by sanctioning clubs for participating in breakaway tournaments.
As competition advocates await that verdict, Agnelli says the predictability of many national competitions calls for a change.
He said: “Whether it ultimately prevails will depend in part on the European Court of Justice.
“Why didn’t I fight for changes in UEFA from within? Internally it was a war I couldn’t win. Even though I knew that the current system Ajax, Anderlecht, Celtic, Benfica, Panathinaikos and Red Star Belgrade had no future offers.” and many others.”
He added: “Apart from the lack of financial stability, the winners of many national and international championships are known practically in advance. Mainly thanks to the income that clubs generate on the transfer market.
“England are leaders in that regard and you can see how well the Premier League is represented in the final stages of European cup tournaments, closely followed by Spain and some clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
“But in a sporting competition it is important that every participant has a chance of winning. So also Ajax, Feyenoord and Juventus.
“As a football fan, I support such an international competition in contrast to the international associations. As rulers, they want to leave everything as it is. They refuse any change. Therefore the system is not future-proof.”
It remains to be seen whether Agnelli could be personally involved in a Super League – although the 47-year-old isn’t ruling out a Juventus return.
The Italian Football Association (FIGC) had suspended him for two years from football in January after investigating the Turin club’s finances.