Agnelli’s Five Wrong Bets That Culminated in Juventus Downfall

For nine straight seasons, Andrea Agnelli proudly oversaw his team’s overwhelming domestic success as Juventus reigned supreme over Italian football. Although European glory eluded him, the patron had already cemented himself as one of the greatest presidents in the club’s history despite his relatively young age – walking on the footsteps of his legendary forebears, including his father Umberto, and his famed uncle Gianni (L’Avvocato).

But in recent years, Andrea has been gradually losing the plot. With every passing campaign, the club has been on the dreadful path of degeneration. These days, there’s scarcely anything left from the mighty Old Lady that won nine straight Scudetto titles – the longest winning dynasty in Serie A history.

Surely this fall from grace didn’t ensue overnight. The hierarchy made several decisions that were aimed towards consolidating the club’s domestic dominance and expand it beyond Italian borders. Nonetheless, these strategies dramatically backfired.

So let’s take a closer look at five wrong decisions made by Agnelli which eventually culminated in the shocking downfall of Juventus.

Getting Rid of Marotta

Since the beginning of his era, Agnelli identified Giuseppe Marotta as the right architect who who could resurrect Juventus from the abyss witnessed during his predecessor’s time.

Needless to say, Andrea was correct in his assessment, as his right-hand-man excelled in his role as the club’s general director, making one formidable signing after another, which swiftly restored the club’s dominance on the Italian scene.

But in 2018, the hierarch decided to adopt a different strategy, throwing Marotta’s cautious ways out of the window, slowly but surely handing the keys to his pupil Fabio Paratici who implemented a more risky approach.

For his part, Marotta left his post in Turin to join Juve’s arch-rivals Inter, in a switch that shifted the balance at the highest echelon of Calcio.

The Ronaldo Show

While Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival ensued at a time when Marotta was still at the club, the latter’s role had obviously diminished in favor of his student-turned-foe Paratici, who was the clear protagonist behind the earth-shattering transfer.

Now surely the landing of CR7 wasn’t the lone ill-advised transfer that led to club’s demise, but it serves as a perfect depiction for a club that overstretched its hand on the market, and eventually paid the price on the pitch as well as the balance sheet.

Perhaps Covid-19 erupted at the worst possible time for the Bianconeri, but clubs who maintained healthier budgets were able to recover from the pandemic significantly faster than the fallen Italian giants.

Super League Debacle

At the beginning of April 2021, Agnelli was the ECA president and shared an amicable rapport with his UEFA counterpart Aleksander Ceferin – who also happens to be the godfather of Andrea’s daughter.

However, it all collapsed when the Juventus patron acted as one of the main pillars in the doomed European Super League project. Twelve top clubs were announced as founders, but nine retracted in less than 48 hours due to a massive backlash form fans, officials and even world leaders.

Yet, the Old Lady stood firm in her stance which has been deemed as rebellious, creating a major rift with UEFA and other organizational bodies, which surely didn’t help anyone in Turin.

Return of the Max

Following the underwhelming tenures of Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo, the president had seen enough of Paratici and Pavel Nedved’s ideas. The next Juventus coach was to be handpicked by Agnelli himself, and he opted for the nostalgic option.

The patron recalled Massimiliano Allegri who was on the shelf for the last two years after being unceremoniously shown the door in 2019.

But unfortunately for the club, the returning version of Max has been lacking in terms of ideas, tactical scheming and perhaps determination, as the club continues to find new lows under the guidance of the Livorno native.

Alienate the Ultras

Even following the humiliating defeat at Haifa, the club’s Ultras still asked Allegri to stay put in his spot. This is because these groups have a bigger enemy in Agnelli. Hence, they’re pointing the finger towards the president, demanding his resignation.

The rift between Agnelli and the Juventus die-hard supporters didn’t surge out of the blue, as the patron had been taking several measures to alienate these individuals, perhaps in an attempt to relieve the club from the whole Ultras culture which doesn’t fit in his modernized vision for the club.

The outcome? The Allianz Stadium has become a sad shade of the grand venue that acted as the delight of Italian football, as the fans have abandoned their posts, creating a cold and depressing atmosphere.

From a strong fortress to a mud castle. The Juventus Stadium portrays the rapid and shocking decline of a club in need of a new direction, if not a new president.

Follow us on Google News for more updates on Serie A and Italian football