Bits and pieces of goings-ons and news-
Friendly v. Villarreal:
As stated in the comments in the last post, tomorrow there will be a friendly in Salerno against Villarreal, most famously known in the boot as the team of Giuseppe Rossi. (Also for fellow yanks for Jozy Altidore, but he never plays) It's at 2030CET, so 230EST and 1930GMT, other readers, you probably already know, it's the same time as Serie A primetime games. This should be a good game and another chance for Ferrara to rotate players and see who is gelling and who needs to change their game. It doesn't feel quite like last season when all of the players were complaining about friendly overload, but we're not in the CL qualifying, or maybe the management heard their grievances.
Sissoko will not be in appearance, but his recovery from his foot injury is going well. The club doctors have examined him, and while they refuse to give a return estimate, they are confident he will not need surgery. The club went through a double-training session today in preparation, Caceres trained with the team though the transfer is not official yet, having been given permission by Barcelona. The official squad has been released for the friendly- Diego, Buffon, Poulsen, Sissoko, and Almiron will not be taking part.
Juventus is Profitable:
The new Triade of Gigli, Blanc, and Secco have taken some fire (rightfully so in some cases) for their management of the club since taking over, I have been generally satisfied. Given the extreme economic duress and difficulty in acquiring capital, the club is doing splendidly. There are teams like Roma, Milan, and Manchester United that have been forced to sell their star players to pay off some of their debt burden. There are also clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal, and Chelsea (notice a pattern here?) whos' staggering debt in times of a credit crunch has stalled or eliminated their transfer plans. Then there is the other side, Real is again spending recklessly, taking out hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from Spanish banks.
Juve is a part of neither group. Despite a heavy spending mercato, (35mil) all of this was within the Juventus transfer budget and not financed by debt. Given the club spent approximately the same over the last two summers, it seems clear with the published financial statements that Juventus Football Club, SpA, is on quite solid footing financially. While the club may not choose to spend that much in future mercatos (it may), that does not mean we don't have the money. This is the legacy of this triade, and it is one many might ignore, though it is fundamental: transforming Juventus into a self-sustaining club, that can finance its purchases without going hundreds of millions into debt. and still pay salaries to attract the best and brightest in the world. The new stadium is a key part of this plan that will increase revenue significantly.
The reason this is brought up is because the 2nd quarter of the business world has concluded, and Juve has issued its' bi-annual financial statements. The club has posted a profit of €6.6 million this year, which is a huge positive sign as last year the club at this time had a loss of €20.8 million. The balance sheet of the club is generally on the upswing, and with the new stadium and positive adventures in the Champion's League and Serie A, will continue to rise.
The figures approved by the board – declared Juventus general manager Jean-Claude Blanc at the end of the meeting – confirm the quality of the work done, on all levels, and represent a solid base for next year, for which we have formulated a foreseen sustainable break even. These figures consolidate the idea of sustainable football: an objective which is practical thanks to a careful management and the dedication and professionalism of all the employees and collaborators of the club
Cobolli echoed Blanc's comments and agreed that departures were likely-
In a year when clubs like Milan and Roma are forced to sell their stars to raise funds, it is particularly significant that the Bianconeri are making money.They reinvested it by signing Diego, Felipe Melo, Martin Caceres and Fabio Cannavaro to build an impressive side.
“We ended the fiscal year with £5m profit, an 18 per cent increase compared to last season,” said the patron after today’s board meeting. Juve have once again become competitive in the economic environment. We are extremely [financially] solid. The team is stronger than last season and above all we have reinforced significantly in every area of the squad." In attack we have also rediscovered the motivation and fitness of David Trezeguet, turning us into a truly competitive outfit. Are we stronger than Inter? I am not interested in them. We will see on the pitch who is the better team.”
Legrottaglie: «Humility must be our strength»l-
«Since I joined Juventus, there has always been talk of scudetto because at Juventus you always play to win. I however, prefer to let the pitch speak. We must not take notice of criticism, both positive or negative. Our strength must be humility. We know we have a strong team, but without humility, group cohesion, the victories are not obtained».
Nicola Legrottaglie is as balanced as always. Juventus is being praised, but the defender does not want to give too much weight to Summer opinions. He maintains the same attitude even when people speak of Cannavaro in the starting line-up together with Chiellini: «In the last few years Giorgio and myself have been one of the best central defence duos in the championship and I cannot denying having felt a bit taken aback by remarks that Juventus signed Cannavaro to replace me. Now, however, I want to make an ulterior stimulus out of these declarations. Every single thing that happens in our life has a reason and Cannavaro’s arrival must be a reason to make me sweat and work even more. I have great respect for Cannavaro and am happy to play with him. Fabio can give us a great helping hand with all his experience and class and at the same time he will motivate me to do even better. I do not want to lose all I have done in the last two years: I returned to the national team and I want to go to the world cup, but this objective can only be achieved by doing well with Juventus».For Nicola the internal competition is not only a stimulus to improve as footballer, but also as a person: «I must be sincere: when I received the news of Cannavaro’s signing my first thought was that I risked playing less and hence not making it to the world cup. Then, however, I thought that even last year we all played a lot. With all the injuries and suspensions you need three central defenders, and so I cheered up and saw things from another angle. I want to remain at Juventus for as long as it is possible because to me itis like a family and would like to end my career here. For me it will also be a character exam: I want to respect the coach’s decisions, whatever they may be, and give my very best when I am called to the cause. For me a group is built even in this manner: a team manages to win when it has these values inside it. If one always thought of himself it would be hard to win. I want to transmit this sign and be an example to the team».
Discourse shifts to the duel with Inter: «I don’t know if we are at par. Each year there are attempts to compare the two teams on paper, but reality on the field is different. We will have to wait for the last four match days to know if we can win the scudetto. Ibrahimovic’s departure? He knows how to change a team, making it make a leap in quality, when he feels like it. I think he is the strongest attacker around. If he decides not to let you see the ball during a match, there is nothing you can do about it. Therefore it is better to meet him in the Champions League rather then in the championship».
Without comparing duels from a distance, the feeling is however that Juventus have been strengthened tremendously: «In these two years we had great championships. To be even more competitive, the club has enriched the squad with players of great quality, people of great talent like Cannavaro, Felipe Melo and Diego. If we mix this with humility and the will to sacrifice oneself we should be satisfied. The Brazilians also brought cheerfulness and this is positive. They gave a great impression on the field. Diego only played against the Koreans and we still have to see the best of his qualities. Melo can be felt in front of the defence. We even changed formation and having a low midfield helps us a lot».
To Legrottaglie, the arrival of Felipe Melo, who is also an “Athlete of Christ” is an ulterior motive for joy: «It is nice to know that there is another player in my same team whom I can call my brother and who believes in my same values. My dream is to see the whole team share my views». The work this month has been intense but soon it will yield its fruit: «There are two weeks left until the start of the championship. We are still not at the top, because we are working on strength but we will ready by the start. The physical condition will have to be kept until the end. Last year, up to February we played a great championship, than we declined and did not manage to keep up the pace. We must try not to have those pauses which forbid you from reaching your objectives anymore».
You all know how much I like Nicola. Bravo, Legro. I for one will be cheering you all season and hope Ferrara sees the wisdom in playing you over Cannavaro.
Caceres has not officially signed with the club, as CalcioMercato says Barcelona and Juventus are disputing who will have to compensate his former club for his youth trainee days. Despite this, he has been training with the club with Barca's permission and will sign on loan anyday soon.
With the team solely focused now on departures, having conducted a successful transfer campaign, it remains to be seen who will leave the club. Though strongly tipped to leave this summer, it appears Zebina and Tiago have found favor with Ferrara and will be important parts of the team this season. The main target to offload has been named Poulsen. With the arrival of Diego and Melo, he is surplus to requirements and has been told so by Ferrara. I don't think Poulsen got a fair shake at the club and would love for him to prove himself, but if we can offload him for 7-8mil, we might as well. Also rumored to be on the way out (though on loan, as we cannot find a buyer, it seems we'll just have to loan him out till the contract expires) is Almiron, most recently to newly-promoted AS Bari who are struggling with an ownership saga. Speaking of which....
AS Bari Ownership saga resolved:
Newly promoted Bari have announced a deal to sell the club to Texan businessman Timothy L Barton has been reached. Mr Mora confirms that the business interested in this transaction is Texas-based JMJ Holdings, led by Timothy L Barton. According to the official JMJ Holdings website, the company works in real estate developments and is “engaged in the acquisition, development, management and advisement of luxury assets around the world.”
Despite my mother being Texan, forgive me while I go throw up.