We have become an easy target. Juve have been blamed for any hint of an issue, it could be as innocuous in the end result when crunched through the legal system as a slap on the wrist and small fine, with other clubs then receiving the same, but it doesn’t matter to the mass media. There is little attention to be found from a headline of CESENA OVERVALUED PLAYERS!!!! yet to mention Juve in the same framework and the pivot of a major scandal is launched.
We were alleged drug cheats in the 90s!!! Then every single associate of the club accused, even Agricola, was cleared.
We were convicted of Calciopoli!! With zero convictions of any serious wrong doing which stood firm after analysis, and much of Inter officials dealings with refs far more clear suggestion of match fixing, but statute of limitations eh!
Then Conte! One of the few times I found his wildness entertaining and worthy of pride.
Maybe mud sticks. Maybe there is some substance to the allegations of old. It is after all, as my close chum from Naples told me over the week ‘always Juve, Daniele…!’. Yet if true, I suspect echoes of the same charges are true for many clubs in Italy and beyond on every single episode to date. And to this day, none of the truly heinous charges against Juve of old (or of Now) have ever been proven in a court of law. With even the Calciopoli reckonings distilled down to a few ‘crimes’ of the sporting code akin to subs swearing at a linesman. But the nitty gritty does not count for much in the arena of public opinion. On all matters, not just in football. The majority of people have been conditioned to believe accusations as fact, with no interest in evidence…
We now face an insane barrage of allegations. No smoke without fire??? I am unsure on this. For I am long accustomed to the mainstream corporate media proving mass deceit merchants, not truth tellers. Seeking the biggest targets to gain the utmost exposure and attention.
We all have a choice…whilst this latest scandal is up in the air…DEFEND from a position of condemned, or…be playful or quiet, await the dust to settle.
One other rambling before I try to steel my focus to the nut of the matter, crystalise the manufactured tempest to what it is; wild allegations with zero foundation yet established in fact or end result after careful analysis from all sides involved.
I find it surreal that the Italian authorities have applied more resources towards wiretaps of Juve officals than of even the mafia. I suppose John Elkann/Agnelli/Juve are seen as low hanging fruit? Unlikely – as the mafia would be – to buy the jury or simply kill the judges or their families? Still…it seems beyond my own long term connection to Juve, to suggest aghast, that this seems an incredible outlandish witch hunt. It is par for the course, unfortunately.
Why are wiretaps from the police leaked directly to the press?? Were other clubs stealth recorded in the bathrooms of restaurants?
I am not defending the charges bandied around the corporate media, but cannot help but feel there is more to this probably logical pinnacle of the demise of Agnelli, than most are assuming, so lemming spoon fed by the latest headlines and trending tweets the majority appear.
Long before all this latest horror abounded, I had some thoughts of John Elkann looking upon what his cousin has been doing, with a business like critical eye. Yes, no disputing the incredible success for many years. Yet since 2018, our journey of continued glory and success transforming into a spiral of atrophy on and off the field has been increasingly evident. He must have been aware of this.
I had researched who owned Juventus many years ago, and (as many know) it wasn’t Andrea Agnelli. It was and remains Elkann. And yes, agreed, COVID!!!! The Plague. All cycles must come to an end! Its a period of transition! All these points are valid.
Yet the true owner of the club, as a businessman overseeing the family riches and empire, MUST have taken note of the incredible losses. Even an empire worth billions, will notice an asset losing 200-300m each year (EU208m in 20/21, Eu252m in 21/22). And something must be done. As in those responsible brought to account or replaced. How could such a man be chosen to run the empire if he had no concern of such losses???
The situation would look even worse, but for the two capital raising routines in 2019 (300m) and 2021 (400m). It needs an accountant to confirm as I must surely/hopefully be wrong to make the assumption that without those capital increases we would be EU1bn in debt?
Watching not just our failings on the field, but feeling them indicative of a toxic, ugly climate off the field, I have long found my cynical rage whilst somewhat dowsed still beginning to include Elkann. Not solely fixated upon Andrea Agnelli; who made so many mistakes from the Summer of 2018 onwards. The responsibility of the demise we have become went up the ladder. For Agnelli was never going to admit his glaring errors, always doubling down, repeating the same routine of promoting Yes Men from within the ranks, and moving more towards running the club like his own personal fiefdom.
Why else replace a long proven expert SD with a man who has never held such responsibility before?
Why else replace Sarri, with a complete novice at management?
Why else promote yet another complete novice to the SD role?
I should add some context of my own ideas…long asserted, nothing new to anyone who reads my words often. As disheartening as it certainly is to find nourishment of the idea that I am only ever close to accurate in the worst of things, recent happenings, whilst devastating, come as no major surprise.
In 2018 it appears that Paratici and his chum Jorge Mendes had a chat. Maybe we could sign Ronaldo! For a combined cost of Eu340m (wages, sign on, fees). Our longstanding overseer of transfers (and I assume also responsible for the accounting of transfers), Beppe Marotta, was sacked as part of this deal which Paratici and Nedved brought to Agnelli. Beppe recovered from his sincere horror at how he was kicked out, resurfaced at Inter and proceeded to do as he had long done at Juve before; he helped create the strongest team in Italy…
Agnelli then oversaw a rebranding. Plenty didn’t like the new logo, plenty did. No major stumble, but was it a success? I don’t think so, nor was it needed.
Agnelli then had a spat with Conte, in our stadium, where he behaved absent of any dignity.
Conte shows middle finger to Juve bench, Agnelli replies, ‘put that finger in your ass, b* * * * *’
Some found Agnelli amazing for this response to Conte acting the moron. I didn’t. It seemed at best, absent of class. I doubt Elkann was punching the air and roaring ‘you tell him, cugino! Bravo!!’
Agnelli then launched the Superleague…which may have it’s merits, but the promotion smacked of close to zero due diligence, for not only was the whole corporate media in instant lockstep condemnation, we also had the head of UEFA stating Agnelli had lied to him, was a snake. Our club was savaged as the leaders of a poison campaign of the evil corporate cabal eager to kill the game and covet more riches, remove competition for the top honours. The PR was appalling.
Agnelli’s marketing team, then followed this up with a low rent insult to the immense Asian market we sought to tap into:
It takes effort to assume that whoever signed off on this twitter post, was more an idiot than a racist. Regardless of the reasoning behind the mistake, it smacked of incredible incompetence at high levels of the club. And made us look yet again, appalling.
All through these off field episodes of confirmation our club was run by incompetent fools, I kept wondering, what the devil is John Elkann thinking?
Maybe if our on field endeavour was contrasting this depressing PR failure after failure after failure, some balance could be perceived. But NO. Our on field form and results have since that summer of 2018, mirrored a club hellbent on steady self destruction.
For many moons I have seen too many players performing well below their expected levels, and found it too much to pin this all exclusively on the coaching; and recruitment; the conclusion has been that the climate around the club has been long rotten. How could it not be given the steady procession of major mistakes as outlined above?
In short, I believe Agnelli placed some professional experts in key positions early in his tenure. Some risky, some less so. Regardless they worked out incredibly well. However, Beppe Marotta was a major part of this success who was unceremoniously dispensed with. After which, it has been all down hill.
I am glad that Andrea Agnelli has been dethroned. Also positive in regards to the business like temporary placement of overseers at the club by Elkann. A perhaps temporary new President, Ferrero with mega depth of experience ensuring the legalities of a business are all in order, is a strong start and sensible. With new CEO, Scanavino, a long trusted marketing expert close to Elkann. With our image shattered and accounting in disarray, these two choices are astute as both have the expertise to focus on our most glaring issues.
We have long needed a proper clean sweep from top to bottom of the club. Maybe this is the only way could happen.
Also need to mention the potentially pivotal legal case abounding not directly focused upon Juve…but certainly related.
TURIN – A court case to redivide the Agnelli fortune began on Monday, with more than 4 billion euros at stake in the dispute over the legacy of Gianni Agnelli, judicial sources said.
On one side is Gianni Agnelli’s only daughter, 67 year-old Margherita Agnelli de Pahlen, and on the other her three children from her first marriage, John, Lapo and Ginevra Elkann, who inherited the largest share of Gianni Agnelli’s assets after his death in 2003.
Margherita contested the decision that the three children she had with Alain Elkann should have exclusive entitlement to the bequests in the wills written by their grandparents, Gianni Agnelli and Marella Caracciolo.
If Margherita’s claim is successful, the five children from her second marriage, to Serge de Pahlen, will also enter into the inheritance. Three-fifths of the assets at stake are currently controlled by John Elkan, with the rest being split between his siblings Lapo and Ginevra. Invoking Italian inheritance law, Margherita aims to obtain 50 percent of these riches.
This case has the potential to drastically redistribute the Elkann-Agnelli empire’s vast assets and could even have an effect on the family’s sporting companies, Ferrari and Juventus football club.
It is estimated that the destiny of the Agnelli treasure chest will not be determined until early 2023.
The timing is curious.
I do not feel qualified to delve with any legal grounding into the charges the former board are facing. And yet I can add some basic response to what I perceive – which may be wrong – of some of them.
The playing with figures of transfer fees to help with accounting
This does raise a valid point, but if we are to be somehow punished for this, it will prove a precedent so seismic that it makes the Bosman case seem small fry. For who decides an acceptable figure for a transfer of a player? Values are subjective not definitive based on any scientific, academic, let alone legally confirmed figure. Market value is a vague idea. Even with some consensus on what a player may be worth is hugely dependent on when the purchase is made, by whom, for which league. There is no mechanism in place to legally confirm whether the value of a player is permissible. To do otherwise is impossible. So this ‘charge’ is ridiculous. Unless, we are to be made an example of, some new crowd who is to decide transfer fees for all players from this point onwards. How that could be run, and who would be making those decisions, I have no idea whatsoever.
Juve had players delay wages to be paid therafter and put them in a different term accounting sheet
This seems sneaky. Yet also I ponder that as the debt remains the same when moved, but recorded, this is more an accounting matter focused on tax which requires expertise to analyse. Beyond this admission, I struggle to see how it has helped us in a sporting way, for our debts have been widely available, as per the excellent SwissRamble account. They were hardly kept secret.
It is this allegation, I assume, that could be proven to find us at fault. Yet if so, I assume, the Juve lawyers will look to demand the same assessment is made of others in Italy. This and other ‘charges’ also relate to tax dodging, and again I will defer to the experts, as I have no professional foundation of how the system works.
My inking is that for some reason, Agnelli, Cherubini, Paratici before, even Allegri, all knew of our financial fuck-ups. None of which have helped us on the pitch, this would only be the case if such mangling of the system was so severe that we would not have even proven able to register for competition, domestic and in European competition. Which does not seem the case.
UEFA join the hunt!
Ceferin hates Agnelli. Some suggest that he will lay off pointless creation of a media circus to try punish the evildoer, who has already been removed from the club. I doubt UEFA fancy a serious challenge in court when other clubs with much higher debts have previously made a mockery with their lawyers of FFP charges.
Before moving deeper into myriad wailings of our criminal empire…it appears now that a judge involved a preliminary trial (Ludovico Morello) has already has rejected allegations (or measures related to allegations) against the club, explaining that monthly payments moved around during COVID period was understandable and cannot be confirmed as wrongdoing. The Judge also explained the capital gains in the way used by Juventus is typical of calcio, not an isolated case of Juventus. And for the finale, added that there is ample evidence to suggest the club were addressing problems highlighted and have a long, clean record of working well within all legal frameworks.
Added to this a respected, highly experienced sporting lawyer (Eduardo Chiacchio) asserting that there is nothing demonstrable for Juve alone to have done that cannot surely found as common practice across the league.
Especially the Judge’s apparent words are of note. Though none of this 100% exonerates the club of foul play, it just adds some much needed weight to the defences already sounded out by the Juve hierarchy, yet nowhere near fully fleshed out in full in court.
It may well transpire, after this blizzard of JUVE CHEAT AGAIN!!! That the club have committed no crimes whatsoever. I hope so, but if not, I suspect we may end up with some fines for not illegal but poor accounting practices not demonstrable as criminal yet nonetheless leading to a financial penalty.
We must wait for this saga to progress. Racing hearts and furrowed brows should ease, given as abruptly has the storm appeared, as it has looked likely to break. Could be a respite, though I suspect not. And yet of the aftermath??
The club has needed a proper reset for 4 years. This debacle is far from ideal in terms of how this complete renovation of the club at all levels has come about. Failing empires need foundational ruin and upheaval, they need to be burned to ashes, before new plans can be forged on fertile ground rising from the ashes. Perhaps this is what is happening to Juve.
I have no idea what Elkann is planning for Juve. The only inkling close to confirmed is that he wants the club audited by someone he trusts, at all levels and likewise, another trusted professional to lead the repair job of our soiled branding. If this focus on placing demonstrable experts in key positions is to continue, I expect – finally – to find a proper SD appointed in January. This is a pivotal role long neglected and the damage this has caused will take time to remedy.
Perhaps the owner will go further still, and bring into the directors grouping in January, a former player with a clean slate and wide found respect across the footballing world, aligned with unquestionable passion for the club and experience of what is needed to make us successful. What of Max??? I suspect that will be decided by the new board and our results for the remainder of the season.
All is not lost.
Even if the purse strings are to be pulled tight, and no major injection of gold is to come from EXOR, and we have to further cut the wage bill, make some sales, I remain more excited than despondent. Maybe, just maybe, the yearned for by some Juventini true restart of a new cycle is upon us. It may seem at first deflating, it may seem more focused on cutting costs, yet if and even so, we still have the makings of an exciting side. With Chiesa, Illing-Junior, Pogba, Locatelli, Bremer, Fagioli, Miretti, Rovella, Vlahovic…9 players established or of proven talent eager to blossom. Add a future replacement for Tek and 2 new proper FBs and we seem set for a brighter future.
Taking all into account, the angst we have of late suffered may well prove the natural birth pains of a new dawn…
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