Saturday, August 28, 2010
Andrea Agnelli granted his first interview as Juventus Chairman. He did it at Sky microphones.
Here is the interview:
What does it mean bearing the name Agnelli and being Juventus Chairman: having a smooth way or having more responsibilities?
I think that bearing the name of Agnelli means having the chance of being eligible for an accreditation toward the system, a more rapid accreditation than what it could be if I wouldn’t be an Agnelli. That is, soccer world is a world judging you very rapidly and what it notices will always be the results that Sunday after Sunday the team will get.
What feeling did you have when, after being elected Chairman, you read or listened to the sentence “in the name of the father”?
To be honest, I did not hear that sentence… But I’m happy to remember that for me there is a distinction to be made, because my father was a reference point, a great professional, and I always saw many expressions of esteem for him. But for me, he has always and only been my father.
Which is your first memory linked to Juventus?
We have to go back to ‘82, therefore my soccer memory begins there, and in fact I also have memories linked to the World Cup: I’m quite lucky because I can remember two World Championships victories, already. We went to Villar Perosa, where the team was on Summer retreat and I’ve been asked whom I wanted to seat next to. By instinct I said: I’d like to seat next to Paolo Rossi who was the World Cup hero. So I remember this lunch we had at Villar Perosa, I was eating silent near the World Cup hero and this is my first Juventus memory.
Your father became Chairman when you were 23, taking the responsibility to raise a club which was not able to win anymore. Also you decided to take care of Juventus in a difficult moment for the team: aren’t you afraid to “get burned”?
I believe that reference contexts are extremely different, in this moment it’s difficult making an analogy. As a family, we are living a moment of deep transformations, where many among us have a responsibility role, internal as well as toward the external world. In primis I think about my cousin John, about Alessandro Nasi or about Lapo. Therefore we are a thirty-year old guys' generation who – considering the context which we found ourselves in – had to take very important responsibilities. I’m aware that soccer world is a world running very fast and providing the risk of burning up, but our family union and compactness make this risk more attenuated, as we usually share every decision.
Have you ever spoken with your father about the possibility of becoming Chairman in the future?
No, to be honest, I didn’t.
In what would you imitate him?
Imitate him is a difficult word. I think he gave us and personally gave me important values, like discipline, sense of duty and obtaining what we prefixed, so these are the values he professionally passed on to me. I’d like to absolutely try to look at these values that could help me in making the choices I must make. Then to imitate him… it’s difficult to say.
In which player, Andrea Agnelli the boy, the supporter, identified the idea of Juventus?
If I think about which player identifies Juventus most, I think about the period when I was a little bit older, so when I was 16, 17, 18 when I started following the team in autonomy and Alessandro Del Piero was already there, therefore I think that this happened immediately, maybe because we were of the same age, I thought about Alessandro as the player who represented Juventus.
So now? The choice seems to be quite easy …
Of course it is now, today he’s got a twenty years old history with Juventus and he represents Juventus. But today, also depending on my role, I must think about the whole team, and then when I think about Juventus I do not think about the single element but I’m forced to think about the group.
For years you have been very close to “Triad”’s Juventus: what do you think you will take with you of that experience in your way of being the Chairman?
I have to try to look at their professional competences, my opinion is that they lived a moment of deep transformations in soccer world and that they had a great skill to innovate, thence I’ll surely try to repeat their innovation capacity and, in the meantime, an efficiency in answering to any need. Accordingly I say: efficiency and renovation.
Why in the last years you deserted the stadium, excluding the farewell match for Pavel Nedved?
Juventus is also a listed company and so managers have to manage it. In that particular moment I thought my presence could have been bulky for them, considering my previous role, therefore to put them in the best working conditions, I chose not to be present.
Always supporting the team, I guess...
Always as a supporter, but I need to thank you too if I had the chance to follow the team very closely...
What pushed you to say yes, when your cousin John called you?
We have a continuous and constant relationship because we try to reason on all the different problems of Exor holdings. Thence we regularly meet to discuss about this or that company, about this or that manager, about this or that problem we are going to face, and when Juventus situation started to fall last year we started speaking of what could have been the best arrangement for Juventus for season 2010/2011. In making this reasoning together, we also thought that the best way was to take a direct position as a family and so, having the chances to do well, we then decided I was the one to take direct responsibility.
How is it going to end the matter of the complaint Juve presented to FIGC to ask for equal treatment concerning Calciopoli? And what do you hope?
The complaint we presented is very detailed and well- founded, in our opinion. Therefore it does not ask for equal treatment but it’s a very precise complaint about the cancellation of a won Championship. From this point of view we expect, as we think it is well-founded, an answer in a short time, and we have faith, considering the motivation we carried forward, in having a positive result.
So your target is having the two Championships back, or one of the two, anyway?
Let’s say this is a little more complex matter, a little more complicated one. We should evaluate the different aspects but if juridically we’ll prove the club was correct in the various proceedings which are still pending, for sure we will consider the action to revoke and the reallocation of Titles.
Following to John Elkann’s answer and following to yours, Moratti said that when he spoke about thieving matches he never mentioned Juventus, Rejoinder?
I believe that I’ve already said what I think about Moratti’s words and I confirm, those words have been totally unnecessary.
Are you still in contact with Moggi and Giraudo? Did they give you any suggestion? Moggi said he is available...
Moggi, during the period he worked with us and also before, was surely one of the greatest market operators at continental level. Today we made a specific choice that is Marotta. So Marotta is the person fully responsible, working for us, and I’m constantly in touch with him. Concerning Mr. Giraudo, it’s different, I grew up with him, he is a friend, like I’ve already said also on other occasions, he’s like a second father to me and nothing is important as affections. But we - I, Marotta and Blanc – make our choices in total autonomy.
More Chairman or more supporter? How do you conciliate rationality and business management of a soccer club with passion?
Let’s say they do not conciliate, these are two different moments. One is during the match, when also the players are asked to show agonistic anger on the pitch, accordingly the supporter behaves on the stands. When the match is over, taking example from rugby of third half, the players should drink a beer together and so should their supporters. So during the match there is a lot of tension and agonistic anger and desire to prevail the opponent, but after that what the manager is begins to operate and he begins to reason according to the Club’s needs.
Is it true that here at Juventus headquarters, your collaborators call you Andrea only?
When I was younger I worked here for a few months and many of these people are still working here, so the relationship with some of them is surely very friendly. Someone calls me Andrea, it’s true, but everyone knows that today I’m Juventus Chairman.
First estimation after three months working in this office: which kind of soccer world did you find?
A soccer world that maybe tried to meet me because it’s living a transformation moment, as Uefa regulatory level as well as Italian regulatory level therefore the collective agreement has expired. Three months are very few to give a first estimation in such a moment... of course we have some opportunities to make soccer world improve and our target is being leaders on this path.
And which Juve did you find and what is the first thing you changed?
The first thing we changed was surely the technical part, the sport part, but you all noticed that. We came from a season that... At some point I stopped counting the many negative records we achieved last year in Juventus’ history. So the first department we had to importantly chance was the technical one. But everything comes from the choice to put in the team a piece I consider fundamental, extremely important, Marotta, from there we then took a series of decisions you know and still working on.
What is the real target for this season?
The real target for this season is finding a team able to reacquire sport mentality and winning mentality, because it’s only winning that you can go back to win, so it’s necessary to win a match, then two matches and trying to win a whole competition, if possible.
The battle on performances contracts: what is your aim?
We have an open discussion, we already had two meetings at Palazzo Chigi with undersecretary Crimi, who I esteem a lot, and currently there is a mediation activity by Crimi concerning what is a transformation moment for soccer. What we desire as Lega, at this point, is to reconsider the reference framework for contracts with single players and therefore to give us more freedom, in such a way that club’s results be equivalent to the results of the players’ economic treatments. Hand in hand there is the lost position, which must be reacquired, in the Federation, thence we have many pending situations and I have faith that in the next months they will be solved.
But are the players ready for this kind of change?
No, the players are not ready, also because many of these are the oldest ones and they live by the previous contract, of course we are very proud that the first open contract is the one signed with Marco Motta, he is a young boy, he decided to accept some conditions which are modified compared to the previous contract, but surely what we do not want to completely transform the framework of a collective contract, the aim must be a collective contract being aware that today we talk about Serie A players, with an average salary of 700 thousands euro. In short, we talk about people who can afford giving something back. In certain contexts, this happens with this kind of salaries.
What do you think about finance fair play Uefa is imposing Platini chairmanship?
The document is still in draft so it’s too early to judge, we do not have a final document yet, so it’s premature giving an opinion on that. We do completely agree on UEFA Chairman setting, and also in this case, giving logical criteria in terms of investments and obligations. We have problems at European level as well as at national level, if we think about the teams not able to record at their many championships because these criteria are missing. Finance fair play should report these parameters to a balance level in such a way to avoid bankrupt situations. This is why we consider it in a positive way.
A little remained from the previous management: a new General Manager, a new trainer, revolution in all departments. Why such radical changes? It seems to be back in 1994…
Like I was telling before, we came out of a particularly negative year and so it was necessary to act from roots. Analogies are only concerning the deep changing moment: today what matters to us is simply looking at the future, at tomorrow and therefore rebuilding a club, a team, a Juventus able to respect its tradition.
Why did you prefer Del Neri to other trainers, like Rafa Benitez?
There are so many players and in these previous years I read about so many trainers who have been put on Juventus’ bench. The first choice was Marotta, I want to confirm that, for me Marotta stays in the middle of decisions for technical and sport domain. When he arrived we thought: Del Neri is the best trainer we can have in this moment and so we choose him.
What can Del Piero still give to Juventus?
Del Piero plays on the front, he can still give goals, hoping they are going to be many.
Market with final fireworks: what’s your opinion?
We still have some days to spend on market, I can give a positive opinion so far, for acquisitions as well as transfers. We know and we are aware that having a team with many new players we should go and find a team balance. So we know we must be patient to be satisfied with our way of playing, but we have considerably lowered the team’s average age, now we are one of youngest teams of Serie A, we have considerably lowered engagements fees and this is surely positive, now we must find the good soccer.
So we can say, Juve made a revolution also on the pitch, isn’t it?
I wouldn’t say revolution, we acted where we were able to improve, in technical sport area there were many parameters on which we could have improved. There were many old players and with high salaries, but we lowered the average and we lowered salaries. The Club is the mirror of the team and the team is the mirror of the Club, so the only way to take Juventus at highest levels is to express at best on the pitch.
For the first time ever Sky cameras will go inside dressing rooms: what will be Juventus atmosphere this year?
Well, I hope you’ll find smiling players because this will mean that positive results on the pitch are coming …
What was Juve for your father?
Love and passion.
And what about you?
Posted by CAPITANO at Saturday, August 28, 2010