Speaking during a webinar organised by News Tank Football, Juventus president Andrea Agnelli gave his thoughts on the future of European football and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
His words transcribed in Repubblica, Agnelli warned that losses incurred by the pandemic could be worse than feared, while also indicating that football might need adapt to maintain its position.
“We’re not yet in a position to fully understand what’s happened to our industry and what the crisis means for clubs. The Deloitte Money League has announced a €2bn loss over these two seasons but I fear it will be more. Last season, we only had 3-4 months of empty stadiums, of commercial cuts and cuts for broadcasters, while this one will be a full season without fans in stadiums.”
“In terms of TV rights, in Germany they’ve gone down by 10% and on an international level there are broadcasters who aren’t paying what they owe. This is why I think this season will be worse, we believe the overall losses for our industry will be between €6.5bn and €8.5bn for the two years.”
“This analysis is valid for the top leagues – it’s difficult to say what’s happened in the lower leagues, in second and third divisions as well as amateur leagues, in terms of infrastructure and job losses. This all shows that football is going through a difficult period and we need to seriously reflect on the future of the industry.”
“Do we want to approach the future in a nostalgic or progressive manner? It’s our duty to think about the future so that football remains, over the next few decades, the most popular sport in the world. We have a much more segmented audience than before. In less than five years Generation Z will be the consumer and we need to ask ourselves – is what’s being offered right now what they want? We have to provide them with exciting competitions.”
“We have to evaluate the possibility of reviewing the format of [European] competitions and the governance of the systems. Competitions which are managed directly or indirectly by clubs are an opportunity to increase revenue.”