Champions League to help stem Juve losses

A return to the Champions League and the benefits of a new stadium should help Juventus stem their financial losses from next season, club chairman Andrea Agnelli said on Monday.

Juventus, listed on the Italian stock market, will remain in the red for 2011/12 but losses should be lower than the 95 million euros recorded last year, Agnelli said at the Global Leadership Summit at the London Business School.

Top clubs are under pressure to move towards break-even or face exclusion from European competition from 2014/15 under UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules.

Juventus went unbeaten in the league season in 2011/12 to win the Italian title for the first time in nine seasons, helping to complete their recovery after the club was demoted in 2006 for its part in a match-fixing scandal.

They missed out on a domestic double when Napoli beat them 2-0 in the Italian Cup final at the weekend.

"If you had offered me the Italian title last September I would have signed up straightaway," Agnelli (pictured) told reporters, playing down the cup defeat.

Agnelli said turnover should grow to 250 million euros next year, up from around 200 million this year thanks to a return to the Champions League in 2012-13.

Juventus are also enjoying the benefits of playing in a new stadium after demolishing the Stadio Delle Alpi, built for the 1990 World Cup, and replacing it with a smaller 41,000-seat arena which has facilities for corporate guests and incorporates a museum opened this month.

Italian club football, which led Europe in the 1980s and early 1990s, remains troubled by hooliganism and new match-fixing scandals.

Agnelli, 36 and the fourth Agnelli family member to run the Turin club, said fans could be tamed if the stadiums were good enough - as has happened in England.

"Hardcore fans are part of the game," he said.

"It's a matter of bringing the people and giving them the right environment," noting that supporters who misbehaved were easily spotted and dealt with in the new stadium.

The Juventus stadium was big enough for the club, even though it was smaller than that of some larger European rivals, Agnelli said.

Juventus have a large fan base across much of Italy but were only pulling in around 25-30,000 fans before they rebuilt their stadium.

"We had the privilege of filling every stadium in Italy except our own," he said, noting Juventus now sold out almost every home game.