Juventus Chairman Andrea Agnelli, one of the architects of the now-failed European Super League, has defended the project, claiming they believed it would create a product to compete with Fortnite and Call of Duty for young people’s attention.
The European Super League was first announced on Sunday, April 18, and had already effectively failed by the evening of Tuesday, April 20.
The plan, which would have seen 12 of Europe’s top clubs guaranteed a permanent spot in the competition, with no threat of relegation, was roundly condemned by the European football community.
But, the men behind its creation, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and Juventus Chairman Andrea Agnelli, still believe it is a necessary step for the future of the most popular sport on earth.
Football vs Gaming
Speaking to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, Agnelli said that one of the threats to the popularity of football is the shortening attention span of young people aged 15-24.
“The younger ones want big events and are not tied to elements of parochialism. My generation was much more so,” Agnelli said.
“40 percent of 15-24 years old have no interest in football. We need a competition capable of opposing what they produce on digital platforms, transforming the virtual into real. Through FIFA you create your own competition, that competition has to be brought back to the real world. Let’s leave out the effects of competition from the various Fortnite, Call of Duty etc., authentic catalysts of the attention of today’s kids destined to be tomorrow’s spenders.”
Clearly, The Super League believed that for the long-term success of football, it was necessary to compete for young people’s attention, already dominated by gaming.
Florentino Perez, the figurehead of the project, had even suggested in interviews that they may have to make football matches shorter than 90 minutes, if they couldn’t keep young people’s attention.
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But, fans, young and old, rallied against the proposals, protesting outside the stadiums of the six English clubs who had signed up: Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Tottenham.
With all six of those clubs now pulling out and apologizing to supporters, the European Super League plan seems dead in the water.