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Juventus chief: Super League a cry for help

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has defended the European Super League project and labelled it a “cry for help.”

The Serie A side are one of three clubs — alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona — yet to renounce the project after the other nine sides pulled out.

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Gabriele Gravina, chief of the Italian FA, has said Juve face expulsion from Serie A if they are still a member of the ESL by the time registration for next season’s domestic competitions begin, but Agnelli showed no signs of backing down.

“The Super League was not an attempted coup d’etat,” Agnelli told a press conference held for the departure for director Fabio Paratici. “If anything, it was a desperate cry for help against a system which is heading towards insolvency.

“For many years, I have tried to change the competitions internally with UEFA and the ECA as the signs of crisis were evident even before COVID. The current system affords UEFA an exclusivity which is now inefficient.

“The Super League project was immediately subject to approval by UEFA. From the off, clubs attempted a dialogue and collaboration, but the response was a total closure with arrogant statements which exerted undue pressure on some clubs and with expulsion requests for the three clubs which did not bend.

“Moreover, in total disregard of the Madrid court. It is not with this kind of behaviour that we reform football. I know a lot of people at UEFA and not everyone thinks that way.

“The legal base for an appeal are well-founded the desire for dialogue with UEFA and FIFA is unchanged. Other sports show us the show — such as basketball. Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona are determined to find a competition reform and we will also do it for the club which have shown us solidarity.”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has come under pressure to explain his role in the forming of the ESL, while La Liga president Javier Tebas warned Juve, Madrid and Barca they should be “scared” of disciplinary action from UEFA.

Juve finished fourth last season, missing out on the Serie A title for the first time since 2011, and Andrea Pirlo was replaced as manager by the returning Massimilano Allegri.

“I want to underline the determination and desire that he and the staff have to throw themselves back on the pitch, which makes us extremely happy,” Agnelli said of Allegri. “It is a long-term adventure, one of planning and continuous growth.”

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