The 2021 Juventus shareholders meeting took place today with the club’s leadership addressing the shareholders who brought up a number of issues surrounding the club, the performance on the pitch and the future as well.
To start off though, Club Chairman Andrea Agnelli started by confirming a couple of appointments for the year ahead and then going into the accounting numbers for last year.
“The Board of Directors has just assigned offices and powers: in addition to the confirmation of Chairman and Vice Chairman, which honours Pavel Nedved and me, the Board has appointed Maurizio Arrivabene as CEO.
“We will approve the financial statement with a loss of €210m and it’s fair to come here to explain what’s going on. We will renew the board and we will request a new €400m capital increase. To understand what Juventus will do, it is useful to context the macro-economic framework in which Juve has moved.
“A highly healthy economic framework, in conflict with what are all the rumours that we feel discontent within our industry. We played 60 games behind closed doors from May 2020 until last season. All the revenue lines have been called into question, leading to a political and institutional crisis.”
Agnelli went on to reiterate that Juve have not given up on the hopes of formation of a Superleague, and has the backing of the club shareholders as well.
“The Superleague, the consequences on ECA and UEFA, for the roles held for Real Madrid, Barcelona and today we are waiting for a ruling by the European Court of Justice.
“The Super League was the admission from 12 clubs that football is refusing change to maintain a political class that does not risk, does not compete but wants to cash in only.
“I do not want to give up, and I did not do it yesterday, I will not do it tomorrow. The system needs a change and Juve wants to be part of it. But only through constructive dialogue, for everyone.”
A number of voices around the club have spoken up about Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure and how it should serve to unite the club with the Chairman pointing out that the individual will never be bigger than the team.
“It was an honour and a pleasure. And if we think about what has been on the field, we cannot symbolically applaud Cristiano and thank him for the joys. The only pity is that for one year and a half out of three, we played behind closed doors.
“Alvaro Morata is right when he says that the Juventus jersey brings responsibility. I am in charge of this club and Juventus is bigger than anyone else who had the honour to participate in this path. It comes before any other person.
“In this context, we need to regain our values: work, sacrifice, discipline. These values must bring results on and off the pitch.”
When his turn to speak came, Nedved responded to allegations that he was only in a leadership role because of his friendship with Agnelli, and that his behavior after losses was bringing the club into disrepute.
“It’s impossible to cover such a prestigious role just because I am a President’s friend. The owners would not permit it. I feel a lot of responsibility, sometimes too much. I’ve received correct criticism, I haven’t always had exemplary behaviour.
“I will always give my all for this club. Hearing these words affects me, it hurts me, but it is my character. I will always cover my role with maximum commitment and responsibility.”
New CEO Arrivabene, who has taken over from Fabio Paratici also spoke starting with how Juve’s needs to change with Ronaldo’s departure.
“The Cristiano Ronaldo operation has brought benefits, from a sporting and image point of view, not only for Juventus, but also for Italian football. His presence has guaranteed an important asset to the whole system.
“With his departure, other scenarios open up, a great champion has left and the question is: what are the effects on the team? In his absence, there are those who score anyway and should score anyway, look at [Karim] Benzema at Real Madrid.
“The real lack is taking responsibility and the coach is working on this, the team must recharge this responsibility and work as a team.”
Juventus fans and shareholders have been critical of the club’s transfer market dealings in recent years, but Arrivabene claimed that the decisions have been made with the future in mind.
“Regarding the criticism of the market, I say that the financial situation was forgotten very quickly: careful choices were made in the summer, and it will be the same in the future.
“We need sustainable growth, which means making the accounts more efficient and staying competitive.
“This balance is not always easy but it’s what we want to do, it being understood that this balance works from the moment you win.”