Club Focus – Juventus – Is John Elkann the real reason for Juventus’ failure?

“I would return quickly if Andrea Agnelli were at the helm, also to repay the kindness of the Juventus fans whose affection I have never lacked in recent years.” Those were the words of Juve’s ex-Managing Director, Luciano Moggi, as he explained his desire to return to the Turin giants as soon as his five year ban has ended.


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Gigi Moncalvo, a journalist and a politician, recently published a book in which lies a chapter entitled ‘Moggi and Giraudo – a danger to John’. Moncalvo believes that Juve’s failure in properly defending their team with regards to the Calciopoli was down to the fact that John Elkann wanted both Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo out due to their intentions of bringing Andrea Agnelli in. With Andrea as President of Juventus, John’s ambition of reaching the pinnacle of power would be hard to realize due to the competition he would face from his cousin. A sentiment shared by Moggi, who in October, telephoned a radio show and accused his former club of accepting unfair punishments and poorly defending their team in hopes of banishing Andrea.

Umberto was of course Juve’s President and Gianni’s brother who created a very efficient and tight management that allowed the team to enjoy great success and afforded his successor an easier task at presiding over the legendary club. Moncalvo’s chapter documents how Giraudo prepared for the arrival of Andrea to Juve, Umberto’s son, as homage to the great Umberto and as a gesture of gratitude. In addition to his popularity, Andrea was perfect for the role as President as he not only carried the Agnelli name, a name which John refused out of respect to his father Alain Elkann, but an Agnelli who graduated from the prestigious Oxford University, had gained valuable work experience, and alongside his mother, Umberto’s second wife Allegra, held Juventus within his heart.

His cousin John held great ambitions of success and power and knew all too well how a football team’s success can translate into success for the individual presiding over it. You need only look at how well Silvio Berlusconi’s political career benefitted from Milan’s utter dominance in the world of football. With Andrea at the helm of the Bianconeri and backed by two of the most intelligent football managers around, Juve was destined for even greater success and most fans would have attributed it all to Umberto’s son despite the fact that the triad would have been responsible. Aware of the competition and of the possible power Andrea would earn from Juve’s success and the opportunities that would present themselves to him, John needed Andrea to walk away and what better way to do it than to get rid of his staunchest backers, Moggi and Giraudo. And so Calciopoli was allowed to break down Juventus and force Andrea to walk away in order to allow only one man to continue the Agnelli name, free of any rivalry.


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However, John’s plan backfired and Juve risks falling into an abyss considering the past two years’ results. He may well have secured his position at the top but the fans still cry out for Andrea and Moggi repeatedly speaks out and with Moncalvo’s book out for the whole world to read, it may be time to change course. Elkann was unable to continue Juve’s winning dynasty and may now be forced to turn to his cousin in hopes of resurrecting this club as indicated when Andrea accompanied his younger cousin in a trip to Vinovo in December to greet the team and Coach. Have the tables turned?

Whether you believe this conspiracy theory or not, it certainly allows for a new vantage point and perhaps may explain why Juve, a team that was deemed unbreakable, well connected and infinitely powerful failed to properly defend its honour. Juve fans will always have you believe that they were innocent and that Moggipoli was all done in an effort to reduce the Old Lady to utter failure. Perhaps these theories will forever remain mere theories or perhaps John truly is the power starved, ruthlessly ambitious businessman who forced his beloved team into paying the price for his success as the head of a family torn apart by family feuds.

Back to the real world and the next game will provide the Bianconeri with the ideal and rather ironic stage to truly crash and burn when faced with their ex Coach, Claudio Ranieri and his on-form Roma team. No-one could have predicted the current league standings earlier in the campaign when Juve thrashed the Romans thanks by in large to the Brazilian contingent but alas seven defeats later and Juve are on the brink of a total meltdown. To those wondering whether fans regret asking for Ranieri’s dismissal, here’s a quote from an ardent supporter: “Better to die in the arms of a Bianconero then survive in the hands of a Romanista.”

Juventus Club Focus 2009/10

Week 1


Great expectations
– August 21, 2009

Week 2


When in Rome
– August 28, 2009


The decline and fall of the Roman Empire
– September 1, 2009


World Champions – One in, one out, one remembered
– September 4, 2009

International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)


Children should be seen, not heard
– September 7, 2009

Week 3


Diego lost to injury in victorious Roman repeat
– September 15, 2009


The reserves exposed
– September 18, 2009

Week 4


Transforming the formation
– September 23, 2009

Week 5


The cruel blow of lady injustice
– September 25, 2009

Week 6


Haunted by the ghost of last year’s defence
– September 29, 2009


We’re meant to be happy with one point?
– October 2, 2009

Week 7


Is it now time to be negative?
– October 6, 2009


Ferrara: public enemy #1
– October 9, 2009


Bad or just misunderstood?
– October 13, 2009


Let the bitterness commence
– October 16, 2009

Week 8


Oh Ferrara, will you ever learn?
– October 20, 2009


Ferrara, thank you for listening
– October 23, 2009

Week 9


Sampdoria will provide the real test
– October 27, 2009


Introducing the real Juve
– October 30, 2009

Week 11


Why are we not surprised?
– November 3, 2009


The many faces of Juve
– November 6, 2009

Week 12


A team of hyperboles
– November 10, 2009

Week 13


And we’re back
– November 20, 2009


Del Piero returns as subordinate players give encouraging displays
– November 24, 2009


Failure reverberates throughout the club
– November 24, 2009

Week 14


Is it all over?
– December 1, 2009

Week 15


Oh Lord, make our enemies ridiculous
– December 4, 2009


Destroy Bayern and we will really start to believe
– December 8, 2009

Week 16


Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification or so they say
– December 11, 2009


Sanctification is going to have to wait
– December 15, 2009

Week 17


Deliver us from disgrace
– December 18, 2009


Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up
– December 22, 2009

Winter Break


Less talk and more action
– December 29, 2009


Change is all we wanted for Christmas
– January 5, 2010

Week 18


Does this mean we have to keep him?
– January 8, 2010

Week 19


From the sublime to the ridiculous there is only one step, and Ferrara found it
– January 12, 2010


Maybe just maybe, Juve is back in business
– January 15, 2010

Week 20


We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope
– January 19, 2010

Week 21


Is John Elkann the real reason for Juventus’ failure?
– January 22, 2010

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