Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and Juventus counterpart Andrea Agnelli are the biggest losers in the short-lived European Super League (ESL) fiasco, risking to tarnish the image of two of the most influential men in world football.
Nearly thirty years can tear apart Spanish Perez, age 74, and Italian Agnelli, age 45, but the pair are united by the same ambition to make those clubs a global brand, always with TV rights and supporters around the world. The medium produces money.
His vision was embodied in the Super League project, which was still born, of which he was the two main assistants.
Agnelli, a descendant of one of the strongest and richest families in Italy, has been at the helm of Juventus since 2010, during which he won nine consecutive Serie A titles, but was runner-up twice in the Champions League.
“Football is no longer a sport, but is an industrial area and requires stability,” argued the Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Wednesday.
For Perez, who was recently elected without opposition as president of the Spanish champions Real Madrid and was named president of the new ESL, his leadership ambitions were also fundamentally financial.
“Football should change and adapt in time. Football is losing its appeal. Something needs to be done,” he said of offering 12 strong clubs – six from England and three from Spain and Italy – to form a league that would offer guaranteed places to its founding members and billions of dollars in payouts.
Both faced heavy criticism, as in response from angry fans, the Super League project was scrapped after only two days.
“She is selfish and selfish. He only thinks of Real Madrid. At Villarreal, we do not need Florentino to come and save us”, beating the President of Villarreal, Fernando Roig on Spanish radio
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon said, “To say that this project will save football is a joke.”
UEFA President Alexander Ceferin has been hit by a “shameful offer to serve select clubs fueled by greed”.
The Slovenian chose Agnelli as “the biggest disappointment of all” as he worked in the extended New Champions League at the same time as the Super League project with UEFA. “I have never seen a person lying, so consistently as him. this is incredible.”
Following the Super League announcement, after a loss of influence in European football, Agnelli resigned from both ECA and UEFA.
The president of Turin, Urbano Cairo, accused Agnelli of organizing the investment fund with a view to sabotaging the talks so that he could be involved in managing TV rights.
According to some sources, these negotiations stagnated, as these funds demanded in return for their investment of 1.7 billion euros ($ 2 billion), that the clubs do not participate in a closed league project that would have devalued the championship.
“It’s bad faith, unfair competition,” Cairo smoked.
Paradoxically, the Super League fiasco could cost both Real Madrid and Juventus. The shares of Juventus plunged more than 13% on Wednesday, reaching the highest level since September when the project was announced.
But, although he noted the virtual impossibility of the project after the return of most teams, Juventus insisted on Wednesday that it wanted to continue to seek solutions to increase their “value”. He said he was “confident of the sound of the sports, business and legal complex”.
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