Powers that be. To whom does Juventus owe its greatness?

Powers that be. To whom does Juventus owe its greatness?

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18 Jun 2022
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The situation

Juventus was founded on November 1, 1897 by students from the Massimo d’Azeglio Lyceum in Turin. Three years later, they managed to register a team for the league championship. And after 5 years, Juventus for the first time became the champion of Italy. Nevertheless, the early years of the club’s existence were extremely difficult, sponsorship was scarce, and management changed without interruption. In 1913, Juventus almost found themselves on the verge of bankruptcy, but at the last moment they managed to find additional investments and end an unhappy season. Nothing indicated a successful existence, mostly foreigners came to the team, played for a low salary, and then just as quickly left. In 1923 everything changed. Eduardo Agnelli, Vice Chairman of the Italian concern FIAT, was appointed President of Juventus. To show the significance of this event, let’s plunge a little into the history of the Agnelli clan. In 1899, the mayor of the small town of Villar Perosa named Giovanni Agnelli decided to take part in the formation of the country’s automobile industry. Being an ardent fan of cars and their rapid development, Giovanni considered that such an investment would pay off pretty soon, and became a co-founder of the Italian Automobile Factory in Turin, or FIAT. After 10 years, Agnelli, already the managing director of the company, was able to raise the commercial value of his brainchild by several dozen times, and in 1915 he announced the construction of the largest automobile plant in Europe. The company expanded and grew rich, Agnelli’s influence grew, and production gradually became one of the most important market elements in the country. Soon the company began to produce not only cars, but also spare parts, aircraft engines, in general, everything that the country needed in the post-war period. The surname Agnelli in Italy became a symbol of success, and her family members turned into the most influential members of European society. Giovanni’s son named Eduardo inherited his father’s grip and energy. 

The details

His commercial streak was revealed early and it was Eduardo who advised to extend spheres of influence outside the main industry market. So in 1923, the younger Agnelli took over as president of the local Juventus football club. This was quite unexpected, since the Agnelli family had not previously shown interest in football. However, this appointment began the club’s ascent to the heights of world football and allowed the club to turn into one of the strongest clubs in history. Eduardo devoted himself completely to the club, he invested huge amounts of money in it, used all the influence of his name to achieve the construction of the stadium, infrastructure changes, and open a good new training facility. Agnelli himself made decisions regarding all personnel, therefore every appointment was coordinated with him. Eduardo insisted that Juventus was a new milestone in Italian football, in this regard, his requirements for everyone grew in proportion to his investments. The result paid off in full, in the 30s the team lived at the top of the Italian championship table, and all the players of the national team somehow passed through Juventus. The name of the team became famous, Juventus was associated exclusively with Agnelli, and therefore with success. However, in 1935, Eduardo Agnelli died in a seaplane. This greatly crippled the family and, in particular, the team, because it was the president who was her soul. Meanwhile, Europe was covered with a cloud of war, football faded into the background, the country plunged into hostilities. After the end of the Second World War, FIAT returned to the production of vehicles from the military industry and took an active part in the restoration of the country’s economy. Interest returned to football. Eduardo’s son, Giovanni Agnelli, or Gianni for his colleagues and friends, joined the club’s directors at the age of 14. Love for Juventus turned into a kind of obsession with the club, Gianni in this aspect managed to surpass even his own father. But he was not destined to lead the club so soon. The company was nationalized, like most large Italian enterprises, and Vittori Valletta was appointed to the post of head of the concern. Gianni moved away from the family business, got himself a reputation as a playboy and the main reveler of the country.


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