Old Lady confident of weathering economic storm

ROME - Juventus are confident they can survive the global economic crisis relatively unscathed, the Serie A club's president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli has said.

"In the short term we are covered because our main revenues are guaranteed, such as TV rights that have been sold until 2010," Cobolli Gigli told Friday's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It seems to me that our commercial sector is satisfying our 12 sponsors because, in a moment of contraction, Juventus can present numbers that show increasing audiences and visibility.

"The fact that we have more and more supporters, now 30 percent of Italian people, will enable us to suffer (the consequences) less in future contracts."

Cobolli Gigli said the Turin club was open to UEFA proposals to restrict the spending of clubs in European competition in order to combat possible financial meltdown.

"In a liberal world it is impossible to stop an owner from recapitalising losses," he said.

"But without touching (Chelsea owner Roman) Abramovich's freedom to put in major sums to make his team even more competitive, certain contributions could be conditioned to the logic of budget balancing."

AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani said this week that he expected the economic crisis to lead to weak trading in the close-season transfer market.

But Cobolli Gigli said Juve would be making at least one big signing to replace Czech midfielder Pavel Nedved, who has said he will retire at the end of the season.

"We will look for a champion to replace Nedved, in so much as that is possible," he said. "Naturally we'll take care with investments, but we'll make the money available for a big signing.

"That's our primary aim but it's possible we'll do more. We don't intend to sell any of the champions we have."