Dear Italian Champions,
The result for the financial year which ended on 30 June 2013 represents an important step in the growth and recovery process that your club embarked upon in 2010. The 2012/13 season saw Juventus achieve the highest revenue in the club's history. Three years ago, this management took on commitments whose aims were twofold: achieve financial sustainability and go back to being competitive on the field. Both of these elements remain essential in my vision of Juventus for the future and, therefore, I consider this record a step and not the final destination. Through consistency and hard work we have reduced losses by 80% in two financial years, but we have still some way to go. There's a lot of work still to be done, particularly with regards to diversifying and stabilising our income.
Juventus has transformed. The club was able to rebuild its winning culture on the pitch – something that always marked it out – and find the human, moral and financial resources to turn things around. Now the club needs to be able to push football's governing bodies effectively to prompt the reforms needed for Italy to go back to being a leader in Europe. Our country has made no progress at all in that direction over the last 12 months. While the most developed leagues have seen increases in revenue, both on a collective and individual basis, as well in competitiveness, Italy – or rather the Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie A – is stuck in no man's land and risks being swept away by the ongoing polarisation.
Internationally, Juventus and I are heavily involved in the European Club Association (ECA), which in a short time – thanks to the leadership of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge – has proven to be a strong and effective counterpart to UEFA, the European Union and policy-makers, producing concrete results. I'd like to cite the example of insurance agreements which have been signed, guaranteeing clubs, i.e. the essential investors in the world of football, a form of protection from injuries suffered by players on international duty. This is a system which sees the clubs' remuneration grow for their players' involvement at Euro 2012 and 2016, as well as the 2014 World Cup, which guarantees clubs consultation on any decision relating to European competitions they are taking part in, and any significant changes to the FIFA calendar to take clubs' needs into account. The ECA has also secured four representatives on the UEFA Professional Football Strategy Council, which discusses crucial issues on the future of the professional game.
Sadly, a similar system that puts clubs at the centre of the policy-makers' attention cannot be found in the Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie A, which needs to be able to rediscover how to conduct calm dialogue, heralding concrete results and, above all, planning. The Lega needs to strive to allow clubs heavily involved domestically to consolidate the balance between competitiveness on the pitch and financial resources, but without undermining – in fact, ideally increasing – big clubs' chances of competing in European competition and on the global market with the biggest brands in the world.
Juventus' ability to boost its appeal abroad plays a conspicuous role in the financial sustainability of your club. Playing in the UEFA Champions League must not be seen simply as a seasonal target, but rather a recurring intermediate aim of a broader mid-to-long term strategy, geared at increasing the lure of the Bianconeri on the global market. It's there, where Juventus can already count on millions of supporters, that the multinationals invest and where a significant chunk of competition in our sector now occurs. The digital world is helping us to be in closer contact with fans who are physically far away, but who still want the Juventus experience on a daily basis. This is another area where the Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie A needs to take a more active role, marketing the shared rights with greater vision and strategical planning.
From global to local. Two sides of the same coin. Juventus Stadium is now a reality, along with its sporting successes: a beautiful story that your club has made possible and that we all – club, team and fans – have just started to write. The figures for the stadium and JMuseum are constantly growing. Now we have a new challenge before us: the Continassa project. A few days ago Juventus acquired the surrounding area of Juventus Stadium which – thanks to an ambitious redevelopment project – will house the club's offices and the first-team training ground, along with new commercial and residential initiatives. We hope the first phase of work will conclude in summer 2016, and the whole project be complete by 2017. Since the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, very few other parties have contributed so significantly to the development and protection of jobs in our city.
Our work goes on without let-up off the pitch, but Juventus is synonymous with football and trophies. I've often defined this season in private and public conversations as “a date with history”. I confirm that. No Juventus side has managed to win three consecutive league titles since the 1930s. This clearly shows how steep the path is that we've just taken. It's an opportunity we don't want to let slip by, but we know how much the competition has grown. We mustn't be afraid but simply aware of it.
History never stops.
Fino alla fine...