Juventus president Andrea Agnelli touched on a wide range of topics during the course of yesterday afternoon’s ‘Economic impact of sport in Italy. Towards a consolidated balance sheet’ meeting held at Rome’s Chamber of Deputies, where he was joined by budget committee president Francesco Boccia and CONI president Giovanni Malagò.
A selection of Agnelli’s quotes can be found below:
"It's important to reach a level of fiscal harmonisation with our major international competitors. This is what we should be aiming for to achieve competitive fairness at a high level. The bulk of our budget goes directly to the state, but we must be aware that a historical period like the one we’re going through is not the right time to discuss concessions.
“Instead we need to be asking ourselves how to make the system of football grow. The overall value of Serie A is approximately €1.7 million in turnover, but with the support of political institutions and the sport’s leaders we should aim to increase it to €3.4 million.
"We need new sport facilities and hopefully in the coming years, by simplifying administrative processes, we will have many of these structures. We also have an excessive amount of rules and regulations and perhaps, seeing just how important sport is in the Italian economic system, a uniform code of sport could help. A different governance would therefore be essential. We’re being simplistic when we criticise the Melandri Law, because it’s right for the various federations, but perhaps it’s necessary to recognise the specifics of each sport.
“And lastly, brand protection, since the big clubs suffer heavily from counterfeiting. However, this is not the most opportune moment to discuss it since we’re in the middle of a political crisis: the decisions made by Abete and Prandelli were right, but we’re losing them in a moment of need. We had already planned a meeting for 11 August, a technical assembly for service and some statutory changes. I find that changing it into an elective assembly irresponsible.
“The bulk of the debate has now shifted to something not that has to be done, but rather to who should be doing it. We certainly don’t need a stop-gap solution, so the profile we’re looking at is someone that can take us to another level. I sit on UEFA’s Competitions Committee and the Executive Board of the ECA, which boast the direction of two great ex-players, Platini and Rumennigge. When one of them comes into a room in which football is being discussed everyone stands up because they recognise their authority. I hope there is as much consensus as possible towards a person with a strong reformist spirit, because football is in need of a profound and radical renewal.
"Juventus have built a stadium that represents continuity at a managerial level, and to accomplish that we had to wait from 1994 to 2011, which is really a scandal. After inaugurating it we wondered what else we could do, and we then created the museum. We kept going and set up the J-College in Vinovo to allow the athletes from our youth sector to continue their education, since books have to go along with sport as well.
"Finally, next to the stadium in the Continassa area, we are going to shift the club’s headquarters and first team’s training ground, as well as the hotel, a concept store, a multiplex cinema and private residences. This will complete the process of urban regeneration in the area, creating new jobs. All of this represents a serious investment of approximately €340 million. However, Juventus are not a non-profit organisation. We’re involved in social activities such as 'Kick Out Racism' and 'Play With Me'. We’re very proud of both of them and we presented them at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. But our ultimate goal is to put the team in the best possible shape to express itself. However, this is only possible by setting clear and concrete goals and striving to achieve them, one by one."