"Never a dull moment", the phrase I often use when talking about Juventus has never been more relevant than this week. This week gave a similar feeling to that of 2006. Gut check time for some, are you in or are you out? Love lost or the bond forged even stronger between you and the club you support?
Juve had gone into a big matchup against Atalanta and was unable to get a point out of it falling in a 1-0 loss. The second half in this one left Juventus surrendering much of the play to Atalanta and they took advantage of Juve's struggles finding the winner in the 87' through a Milnovsky shot which deflected off an unlucky Alex Sandro. To make matters worse one of our best players this season Chiesa had to leave this one with a hamstring injury, leaving Juventini hoping he wouldn't miss too much time as the chase for a top 4 position continues. With the analysis of the match barely being reported and the sting of defeat very much lingering...it happened. Out of nowhere, The Super League is announced! Let the madness begin.
Juventus at the forefront alongside 11 other clubs which were going to start this alternative to the Champions League. The information coming in about the details of this league was weak at best. The majority of fans felt this would kill football as these teams would always be locked into this league. While I personally at the start did not like this idea, the more I thought about it the more I did start to like the idea of this league. My biggest concern was that these clubs remain in their domestic leagues and that remains the same. As an alternative to the Champions League, I liked it as if I'm being quite honest there are a lot of teams and matches in the Champions League I simply don't care about. So, why not weed those matches out? Why not want my club to start to gain much more money and cut out the middle man ( a very corrupt one at that )? Also, the Cinderella runs of certain small clubs that some fans were using as an example as to why this league would be a bad idea are very few and far between and nothing would stop these runs from happening in domestic leagues and there would be open spots in this Super League to be filled which could be rewarded but the main thing for me was it was a starting point. It didn't need to be the final product it just needed to be the start of something that could be better for our club's financial situation especially. UEFA immediately felt the heat, stating players who took part would not be eligible to represent their national sides, that these teams would not be able to play in their domestic leagues. These 12 clubs had UEFA where they wanted them, with the organization even announcing their format changes for 2024 which were very similar to that of the Super League. The clubs were being painted as the bad guys in this one, lead by greed. Being involved in business and at one point with a major corporation, cutting out the middle man for the clubs made sense and I was more annoyed with UEFA letting it get to this point since for one, they don't have a product without these clubs and the clubs are the ones with all the overhead. I thought they should've worked with the clubs better so it wouldn't get to this point. it also left me with the thought that possibly the Super League was all a ploy to get what they wanted out of UEFA. Then the English sides all dropped out or were paid handsomely to do so. Regardless, it was a move that would no doubt halt the project. At the end of the day, Juve and Real Madrid and the clubs from Milan and Barca were all that remained strong. I had warned fans celebrating this be careful what you wish for because I saw this just giving an already corrupt organization an even bigger ego and even more power. The words that followed daily by Ceferin confirmed these fears I had. He actually sounded like a dictator and I was very impressed with Danilo speaking out against the UEFA lead man's words on telling players they could not represent their countries in tournaments if they play in the Super League as well as stating the obvious if 12 teams agreed they thought changes should be made and we must not lose sight of that. With the massive shockwaves this sent through the sporting world we would have to reset and focus on the pitch as we had a midweek match against Parma upcoming.
Again, we knew we would be without Chiesa in this match but with all due respect they are 19th in the table and we were going to have more than enough on the pitch to get the job done. It would be up to the players to put aside all this noise surrounding our president Agnelli and this Super League and earn their top 4 spots and get this victory to start with. After an unsettling start that saw Juve fall behind 1-0 after a free-kick from Brugman which found its way through a weak Juve wall. Luckily, the club turned it up after and had a strong response, and was able to score 3 consecutive goals. Two from Alex Sandro with his first brace in Serie A and the third to seal it from our Golden Boy De Ligt. The match came and went in what seemed record time as there was still the aftermath of this Super League fallout to be dealt with and that was now the fate of our president and would or even should he resign? Some reports stating John Elkann would decide if he would continue in the summer. Let the fan's opinions commence but I will leave my final thoughts on Agnelli here.
Agnelli has been right at the forefront in our incredible run this past decade. He is always thinking 4 moves ahead and has done a fantastic job in terms of the business side of things regarding Juventus. We may not always like certain decisions but it's human nature for the majority to resist change, one thing is for sure he has done far more good than bad for Juve. He led us out of the dark days and did so brilliantly and this, what's going on now, is child's play in comparison. While some think that this past week has left eggs on our faces so to speak, I actually feel quite differently. I am actually more proud than ever that he is our president as he had the balls to stand up and go against a grossly corrupt organization and held his stance and in his statements never once even used the term "fans" and never hid the fact this was about the teams starting to take control back and helping their financial situations. Also, if a club is trying to maximize their income it does directly affect the fans, after all, we want them to sign top players do we not? I can't ever blame a president for trying to make his company more money. As far as love lost for the club, I stand behind Juve no matter what as I do Agnelli. This talk throughout the Super League and this crusade for the small teams and keeping dreams alive is not something I can get behind. The small clubs and big even have never cared about Juventus, every other club celebrates all of our shortcomings in any and all competitions. Did they try to take us out completely in 2006, where was UEFA then? They didn't care one of their top dogs was unjustly being booted out. Where were the other clubs helping Juve to stop them from being the only club taken to the sword with extreme consequences? It has ALWAYS been Juventus against all. That is the way it was, the way it is, and the way it will always be. I am fine with it and I embrace that and I will never ever bailout. If the team was to crumble, football would be over for me, so If you ask me is there a love lost should we change from Agnelli? The answer is NO to both. We are in great hands and I look forward to his vengeance on the league and Europe after this. Juventus versus the world, you are either part of the steamroller or part of the pavement. Fiorentina you're up!
Forza Juve, Fino Alla Fine