Saturday December 9, 2023

Juventus Courts Disaster with Super League Defiance

  • Juventus has been threatened with expulsion from Serie A if it does not quit the Super League.
  • The team issued a letter with Real Madrid and Barcelona pushing back against the pressure to drop its membership from the breakaway league.
UEFA/Design: Alex Brooks
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What would a team give up for an idea it still believes in? Its prized star? League membership? Hundreds of millions in ticket sales, sponsorships, and media rights?

That’s the question before Juventus after Italian FA president Gabriele Gravina stated that the Turin-based club will be booted from Serie A — which it has won the last nine seasons — if it is still a member of the Super League when Serie A registration for next season begins.

That could be disastrous for Juventus, which took in $176.4 million in media rights this season, on top of $84.5 million in sponsorship and advertising deals. 

  • In April, the Italian Football Federation approved an “anti-Super League rule” which bans any club participating in privately run leagues from domestic competitions.
  • The UEFA is preparing sanctions for Juventus, Real Madrid, and Barcelona for their refusal to abandon the Super League. The nine other clubs that were initially involved agreed to forfeit 5% of UEFA revenue for one season. 
  • On Saturday, those three clubs doubled down with a statement criticizing the UEFA, saying, “The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offenses to abandon the project.”

Juventus could be left out of the Champions League if it can not climb out of fifth place in Serie A in the season’s final games. The team had $7.13 million in Champions League ticket sales in the pre-pandemic 2019-2020 season — part of a $44.4 million ticket haul.

The potential embarrassment comes at an inopportune time, as the club hopes to hang onto superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, whose four-year, $126 million contract expires at the end of next season.

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