Club Features, Features

Juve’s success on the field Is down to the efficiency of the management off the field

July 19, 2015 - 9:23 am

Fino Alla Fine.. Until The End… This the motto of Juventus every time the team enters the pitch at the Juventus Stadium and when they play away from it. The Turin based side have been able to largely demonstrate this attitude for over 117 years since a group of young students decided to form the club with a bench on Corso Re Umberto.

But the big leap in terms of stature was made when Fiat owner Edoardo Agnelli took over in 1923. This is when the club started to have its very own playing surface in Corso Marsiglia. Through the Great Depression Era, World War II, foundation of NASA, the end of Cold War, into the new millennium, through Calciopoli and to this very day, Juve have been owned by only one family: the Agnelli family; For 92 years they have led Juventus football club.

Much like his grandfather Edoardo, Andrea Agnelli gave La Vecchia Signora identity upon his appointment as club president in 2010. He pioneered Juve to became the first club in Italy to own their new stadium. When Andrea Agnelli took over the company, Juve were in turmoil. They hadn’t won a trophy since winning the Serie B in 2007 and hadn’t won a Scudetto since 2006, one of the two Scudetti that were revoked by the FIGC for the Calciopoli.

Large scale changes were not only to be made in the first team but also in and around the management. The nephew of L’avvocato appointed Giuseppe Marotta as the new Director General and his right hand man, Fabio Paratici. Together, the three of them formed the “Holy Trinity” within the management. This revamp within the management proved to be the turning point in the company’s fortune.

Below is a tabulation of the company’s income statement for the last five fiscal years:

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BAD START

Transitions are never easy. Initially, the holy trinity found it hard to get accustomed to their new roles at the club. Luigi Delneri was appointed as the new head coach at the club which would turn out to be disastrous as La Madama would finish seventh in the league and miss out on European football for the second consecutive season. It is unfair, however, to single out Delneri as the sole reason for the debacle, as the whole squad had a bad structure.

Off the field, the company was as bad as it was on the field. When pres. Agnelli took over in 2010, the club had made €219.7 million as revenues for the 2009-2010, a season which he wasn’t in charge for at the time. The costs at which the company were operating on were substantially high in comparison to the revenues being generated and this figure stood at €176.1 million. Non-cash flow expenses such as player amortization, depreciation and other provisional expenses were €41.6 million. The company operated at a marginal profit of €2.1 million before taxes and a loss of €11 million after taxes was endured.

After one full fiscal year under pres. Agnelli’s leadership, the company went from bad to worse. But, that was because of the club’s absence in Europe with the revenues dropping by almost €50 million as a result in comparison to the previous year. With low revenues of €172.1 million and high operating costs of  €196.3 million in addition to non-cash flow expenses of €60.6 million, meant the company were to undergo a loss. The operating loss of the company before taxes were a staggering €93.8 million and loss after taxes were €95.4 million. This made the president of the Bianconeri slam the club publicly.

RE-JUVE-NATION

Juventus unveiled their plans for a new stadium in 2008 and the construction began in 2009. The cost of making the new stadium was around €100 million and the construction was finally completed in 2011. The Italian giants played their first game at the Juventus stadium in 2011 against Notts County in a friendly. Owning their stadium was the first step towards bring the “Old Juve” back.

The J Stadium gave the fans a renewed sense of optimism for brighter things to expect in the future, while also giving the entire squad a different philosophy. Speaking about philosophy, there’s one man that the Juve tifosi have to indebted to. It’s Antonio Conte, a former captain of the club and a legend forever that really brought back the Juve mentality.

When Conte joined Juve as a 22-year-old, the Turin side were going through a reshaping phase. Giovanni Trapattoni came back to try and put an end to the domination of Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan. Together they would win a UEFA Cup while Conte would go on to win it all under Il Trap‘s successor Marcello Lippi. So Conte was no stranger to be a part of a rebuilding process when he returned to Juve to coach a team that finished seventh for two consecutive seasons.

Pres. Agnelli’s desire and Conte’s mentality would go hand in hand as the club would go on to embark a record breaking unbeaten season to clinch the Scudetto. A fitting farewell to the team’s captain, Alessandro Del Piero, whose contract was not extended by the company as the president and his team thought it best to part relationship with a player that most Juventini regard as their God.

Nevertheless, the company would reap the benefits of sound investments on the new stadium and returning to former glory. Getting a new stadium attracted a lot of media attention and sponsorship at the time while owning it completely, offered a lot of incentives.

In Pres. Agnelli’s second fiscal year in charge, the club made a massive €213.8 million in revenues, despite not competing in Europe. The operating costs under these revenues were around €206.3 million and were manageable along with non-cash flow expenses of €48.7 million. The operating loss of the company before taxes were €45.9 million and losses after taxes were €48.7 million. The company reduced its losses by almost 50% in comparison to the previous year despite not being involved in European football.

Below is a variation of the economical performance of the company in the last five fiscal years:

BACK TO EUROPE

Getting back into Europe after a long time would be challenging and competing on all fronts would require investment. The club made their intentions clear within the scope of their budget by investing in the likes of Kwadwo Asamoah and Sebastian Giovinco while adding Paul Pogba over a free transfer. They spent less on this particular mercato than they did the previous season as they did not need a major revamp but a few additions that would give them the flexibility to remain competitive.

In his second season, Conte would win a Scudetto and reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League where they were beaten by a more experienced Bayern Munich side with better quality. However, reaching the quarter-finals of Europe’s biggest competition and retaining the league title, paid dividends on the financial aspect of things for the company. Meanwhile, Pavel Nedved, another Bianconeri legend officially joined the club during the course of the season to take his place among the board of directors.

The revenues generated by the club increased by €70 million in comparison to the previous season owing to participation in Europe. The company made revenues of €283.8 million while the operating costs were around €227.1 million. In addition to the controllable operating costs, non-cash flow expenses increased by over €10 million from the previous season to €60.5 million. The operating loss of the company before taxes were €10.9 million and losses after taxes were €15.9 million. The company reduced its losses by almost 30% in comparison to the previous year.

Conte’s third season was bitter-sweet for the club’s supporters. Winning all their home games and crossing over 100 points to clinch the Scudetto for the third year in the row, Juve couldn’t make it past the group stages of the Champions League while losing in the semi-finals of the Europa League to Benfica. This would also be Conte’s last season at the Piedmont club as Juve and Conte decided to terminate his contract by mutual consent.

Despite not making it to the knock-out stages of Europe’s most prestigious competition, Juve’s revenues continued to rise. €315.8 million revenues were subsequently made while incurring a manageable operating cost of €246.6 million. Non-cash flow expenses more or less remained the same at €60.3 million. However, the most promising aspect was that the club made an operating profit for the first time since 2010. The operating profit of the company before taxes were €100,000 and the total loss endured after taxes were €6.7 million. The company cut down its losses by almost 50% in comparison to the previous year.

Below is an overview of the company’s figures since 2010:

 

WHERE DO WE STAND NOW?

After the completion of three fiscal years under the stewardship of pres. Agnelli and his management, the company cut down its losses by close to 15%  of what it was in his first fiscal year. A very difficult job of maintaining an equilibrium between the revenue streams and the operating costs was managed really well. A magnificent achievement for a club that is plying it’s trade in a league that is not globally as marketable as the English Premier League. A great success for a company that is in a country which has economically grown lower in the last decade than any other country in the world barring Haiti and Papua New Guinea.

Conte left and Massimiliano Allegri was appointed to replace him as the coach of Juventus. Much against the initial skepticism of the Juve tifosi, the former Rossoneri coach would embark on the greatest journey that the club has ever had on the football pitch since 2003. Much like Lippi, Allegri is not only from Tuscany but is also one of the only four men in the club’s history to participate in a Champions League/European Champions’ Cup final.

Retaining the Scudetto for the third time in row and winning it for the fourth time in four seasons not only indicates the dominance of Juve in Italy on the field but also illustrates the lack of financial competency from the other Italian clubs.  If that wasn’t bad enough for the rest of Italy, Allegri’s team went a step further in claiming the Coppa Italia, the first that Juventini have witnessed since Lippi won it in his first season back in 1995.

La Madama‘s captain Gianluigi Buffon said that the rest of Italy made it easier for them to endure another successful domestic campaign. AS Roma and Napoli also made a pathway for Juve to collect more revenues from the market pool of the Champions League as the two of them were eliminated in the group stages and the qualifiers of the competition respectively.

The Bianconeri are expected to collect close to €320 million as revenue from match days, broadcasting rights and commercial sponsorship deals according to a report by Tuttosport. Apart from these great revenues, Adidas are set to become the technical sponsors of Juve from the 2015-2016 campaign that involves a sponsorship of 139.5 million over 6 years. Jeep also renewed their partnership with Juve on a deal worth up to a maximum of 20 million per year for 6 years. They are also believed to be getting close to €120 million from TV Viewership for the Serie A games in the 2015-2016 season and for offloading the rights to SKY Italia for Juventus TV according to a report by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

 

HOW DO WE COMPARE TO THE REST OF EUROPE?

Below is a tabulation of the comparison of Juve’s annual revenues with the rest of Europe since pres. Agnelli’s first fiscal year in charge. It is based on Deloitte’s Football Money League:

Pres Agnelli’s first challenge was to bring the club back to former glory in Italy. He was able to achieve that. His second objective was to ensure that Juve re-establish themselves as one of the finest teams in Europe. He was successful in that. His third goal was to help his club’s revenues not over-rely on matchday day revenues. From the aforementioned facts it is clear that this goal has been accomplished for now. His fourth and the most important intent  is to match the biggest European clubs toe to toe financially. He is yet to make good on this.

Below is a tabulation of the comparison of the breakdown of Juve’s annual revenues with the rest of Europe in the 2013-2014 season:

A lot of aspects depend on Juve going toe-to-toe with the rest of Europe. As mentioned earlier, Juve play in a league which is not an attractive option for top players currently as England or Spain. This means that globally marketable players prefer to moving to those two locations than to Italy. This subsequently results in lesser media coverage and lesser amount of money involved in broadcasting.

Despite that, the Italian league still provides the second most lucrative TV Viewership deal (around €1.2 million) for their clubs and only behind Premier League’s £5.1 bn deal. QPR made nearly the same amount of money as Juve in 2014-2015 season even though they finished at the bottom of the table. This would make it tough for Italian clubs to compete with English clubs financially. Unlike Spain, where Barcelona and Real Madrid dominate the broadcasting income, the money is distributed fairly well in Italy. This would make it seemingly very hard for Juve to compete with the Spanish giants. At the moment, Juve and other Italian clubs are better off than the clubs in Germany, France and Portugal on this aspect.

Following is a comparison made by L’Equipe on the amount of money received from TV Viewership by the teams in top 5 European Leagues:

The major reason for Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to collect large revenues is due to the third party sponsorship deals. However, UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play Rules have put a limit on the amount of money invested by third party sponsors into the clubs. This limit corresponds to not more than 30% of the annual revenues collected. This means that for the likes of Man City and PSG, if their annual revenues were €300 million then third party sponsors cannot invest more than €90 million in them. The gap between Juve and the two of them would be massively reduced.

On the commercial level, it is nearly impossible for Juve to compete with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona. This was one of the reasons for pres. Agnelli to be hesitant that barring those four, Juve need to be in the best financial state compared to the rest of Europe. The new deal with Adidas will act as a catalyst for Juve to compete with the rest of Europe, at least on the commercial level as they will help in the better distribution of the merchandises than their predecessors, Nike.

Below is a comparison of the revenues collected by Juventus to those collected by the big 4 in Europe:

 

CONCLUSION

While speaking to London Business School in 2012, pres. Agnelli said that it is tough to explain the club’s finances to the fans, as the fans are only interested in the result on the field, and rightly so. He also stated that the company and investors are primarily focused on economical growth of the club. He mentioned that the duties of his peers and him is to try and maintain the equilibrium between the two of them.

It is safe to say that Juve are growing annually under the leadership of pres. Agnelli and his management. Juventini need to understand the importance of work done by the management off the field to help the club invest solidly on players that can help them achieve positive results on the pitch.

There is stability in the squad, the technical staff and also in the management, which is crucial for any football club to succeed. There is also massive quality in each of the departments that has led in the club being so successful off the field and on it. As Mister Allegri stated in his interview, that for a club to succeed then it needs to have an organized management, world class players and a great tactician. All the three entities need to coincide and combine for a football club to become successful.

You don’t need rocket science to comprehend that the glory at Juve is down to the combination of all those three areas.

Grazie pres. Agnelli. Grazie director Beppe Marotta. Grazie director Fabio Paratici. Grazie to the whole Juventus management.

Note:

1. All figures that have been stated have been taken from the annual report of the Juventus football club unless stated otherwise.

2. Any figures cited that aren’t official, have been sourced accordingly.

3. All tabulations and graphs are prepared by the writer @IndianRegista, unless specified otherwise.

4. Certain parts of the income statement were excluded for simplicity purposes of this report.

5. Views expressed in here are the views of only the writer @IndianRegista.

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  • Avatar
    Abdalla Omar Osman July 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    As a football funs, It hard to understand what is going on background business but In president agnelli, we crust. Until the end. Forza juventus

  • Avatar
    CabraJP July 20, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    We have a lot to improve in the commercial aspect, and i’m not saying that as a complaint. Actually, is exciting to see how much we can grow, exciting times for us bianconeri!!

  • Avatar
    Tatank Adhiwidharta July 21, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Great analysis. And thank you.. Forza juve