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OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Juventus begin the process of withdrawing from the European Super League

The club has finally withdrawn from the Andrea Agnelli’s biggest folly.

Juventus U19 v SSC Napoli U19 - Primavera Cup Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Juventus have confirmed that they have begun the process of withdrawing from the European Super League.

In a press release practically foundering under legalese, Juve confirmed that they have contacted Real Madrid and Barcelona, the other two clubs still attached to the ill-fated venture, “in order to initiate a discussion period among the three clubs concerning the potential Juventus’ exit from the Super League Project.”

The story first emerged in Spanish media several hours earlier that new Juventus CEO Maurizio Scanavino had contacted his counterparts in Madrid and Barcelona to take the initial step of moving away from the project. While the full withdrawal will likely take a while due to bureaucratic niceties, the ball is now rolling.

Juventus have been key players in the Super League since it was announced in April of 2021. Former president Andrea Agnelli was among the venture’s most vehement defenders, having taken a leading role in launching it.

Of course, what Agnelli expected to be a triumphant moment turned into a debacle after strong protest from both fans and existing regulatory bodies drove nine of the 12 founding clubs, including AC Milan and Inter, away from the project within 48 hours. The image of Agnelli in particular took a massive hit, especially after stories emerged that he had been on the phone with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin—who at the time was so close to Agnelli that he had been named godfather to his youngest daughter—only hours before the announcement assuring him that it wouldn’t happen. It’s difficult to make UEFA look good by comparison, but he somehow managed it.

The remaining three clubs have spent the last two years insisting that the rump of the Super League was still a viable project, even announcing a revamped format in February. But in the aftermath of the financial scandal that brought about Agnelli’s downfall, the club has started distancing itself from some of his more controversial moves, and this is easily the biggest.

The reports in Spain also asserted that Juve was motivated by more than just a change of priorities: if Diario AS is to be believed, the decision was also made in the wake of UEFA threatening to levy a massive five-year ban on European competition on the team as they wrapped up their own investigation into Juve’s financial issues. The club categorically denied this in the press release, but it’s been widely reported that UEFA have been offering Juve leniency in the matter if they withdrew from the Super League. It’s anyone’s guess as to what actually transpired, although I’d be willing to bet that a desire to move away from the legacy of Agnelli and the failures of the late part of his tenure was as much or more the impetus than the club’s dealings with UEFA.

The Super League was never the right way to try to go about reform in European soccer, and Agnelli should have admitted his mistake and eaten the crow over it when it blew up in his face two years ago. Now that Juve are finally removing themselves from the venture, maybe they can focus their attention on being Juventus again.