Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, one of the many pioneers of the now abandoned European Super League, has defended the extremely controversial project by stating that it was formulated to compete with Fortnite and Call of Duty for young people’s attention.
The announcement, which was made on 18 April sent the football world into a frenzy. Supporters globally rallied to put an end to the proposition.
However, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli still believe it is a necessary step for the future of football.
Agnelli, while speaking to the to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, stated that one of the many threats to the popularity of football is the shortening attention span of young people aged 15-24.
This is what he 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.”
The main idea of the founders of the Super League was to compete with gaming titles that cater to the attention span of the youth today. Florentino Perez has also stated on several occasions that football matches should be shorter than 90 minutes to grab the attention of viewers.
European Super League vs Fortnite?
The European Super League was first announced on Sunday, 18 April, and had already effectively failed by the evening of 20 April.
The Super League would've guaranteed 12 top European clubs a permanent place in the competition, meaning that they wouldn't face the risk of relegation either.
Incumbent President of UEFA Aleksander Čeferin announced that the teams making a switch to the European Super League would be disbarred from participating in any other European tournament including the highly venerated Champions League.
This was enough to bring football fans from around the world together to rally against the proposal, protesting outside the stadiums of the six English clubs who had signed up: Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Tottenham.
The mentioned clubs have announced they will be withdrawing from the European Super League, reiterating that football is much more than a sport.