[QODLink]
Football
Juventus President casts doubts over FFP
Wary of the challenges facing Italian football, Juventus President Andrea Agnelli also questions Financial Fair Play.
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2012 18:15
Agnelli has achieved success with Juve despite corruption fall-out, stadium move and financial downturn [AFP]

UEFA could shy away from banning teams from Europe on financial grounds to protect the value of its own competitions, Juventus President Andrea Agnelli said on Wednesday.

European soccer's governing body has introduced rules that mean clubs must curb their losses or face exclusion from tournaments like the Champions League as early as 2014-15.

Agnelli said the Italian champions, who lost almost $63.2 million last season, were working towards meeting the Financial Fair Play rules.

"I fully agree with the principles but I'd like to see what is going to happen once it is going to be fully operational," Agnelli told the Leaders in Football conference at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge.

"Are you going to ban three teams from participating in the Champions League?," he said.

"Who is going to go to the broadcasters and say "oops, we haven't got these teams playing"? Is that going to be a correction of the overall values of the TV rights?"

Serie A problems

European champions Chelsea and English Premier League champions Manchester City both racked up big losses last year, bankrolled by wealthy owners.

Paris St Germain, funded by their Qatari owners, have bought Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva from AC Milan, illustrating how Italian soccer has fallen from grace after match-fixing scandals and hooliganism problems.

Agnelli, part of an Italian family that has owned Juventus for 90 years, said the game in Italy was struggling to recover from a match-fixing scandal in 2006. Juventus were relegated to Serie B for their involvement in the affair.

"If you flick through on TV and see an empty stadium, it's hard for it to catch your attention"

Juventus President Andrea Agnelli

Italy had to learn from Germany and England where clubs were well run commercially and had safe, new stadiums. He described the stadiums in Italy as obsolete and said that was cutting attendances and harming the ability to sell rights abroad.

"If you flick through on TV and see an empty stadium, it's hard for it to catch your attention," he said.

Juventus have set an example by moving into a new 41,000-seater stadium last season.

The club has been unable to shake off scandal, with coach Antonio Conte serving a four-month ban for failing to report incidents of match-fixing when he was at another club.

Agnelli defended Conte, saying he had taken only a few minutes to be persuaded of his coach's innocence when they discussed the case earlier this year.

410

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.