The ruins left by the Agnellis

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"The worst things meet

always the maximum success "

Erasmus of Rotterdam

There is something intrinsically evil for any kind of social aggregation, and I write it with as much caution as possible, in some facts that we have been able to witness in some recent Serie A football matches. Where the evil has manifested itself, several times , as an overwhelmingly manifest representation of a power, which makes of its own interests the only common denominator. Looking around, and not just in football, the most widespread sentiment seems to be resignation, which inevitably leads to looking, everyone, at the well-known attitude of pulling a living. We are, sorry to say, on the threshold of a climate of irreversible gravity which public opinion does not seem to know. This is because the rules, more and more, have become formal mechanisms of subjective judgment, useful screens to hide the evident nakedness of the king, more and more risen to the rank of emperor. An arbiter who decides to fly over an obvious hand ball, VAR employees who do not require him to consult the images of the action of the alleged foul, the player guilty of the phallus who on the live television admits the touch of a hand which, to his to say (and with manifest sporting disloyalty), he could not cut himself; all these things would be very little in the face of the massacre broadcast on Dazn in the interval between the first and second time of the last "Derby della Mole".

In the digital payment platform of streaming video on demand, a young journalist was accompanied, in commenting on the resume of the images of the first half of the derby, by two opinion leaders, elevated to this task for their past as former footballers (one even a former world champion). That was the moment when the fans of the team penalized by the failure to grant the penalty waited at least for a comment that would have given them at least a partial appearance of justice. But the two former players (on the young journalist better to be silent), with the most candid and hasty look in the world, have queued up at the thought of the author of the handball: the touch of hand incontestably there was, but the player he certainly couldn't cut his arm. Oh no, my egregious columnists (you may have noticed that he is not calling anyone by name. They don't deserve it), according to the current regulation on hand ball in the penalty area, that Juventus player's arm should have just cut it, or keep it behind the back. One wonders why those two opinion leaders / former footballers have clearly lied, knowing they were lying. How is it possible that a "third power", a category to which journalism belongs by right, does not feel the need to make an attempt at truth?

"When, therefore, I see the right or the faculty of doing everything to any power granted, let it be called a people or king, democracy or aristocracy, let it be exercised in a monarchy or in a republic, I say: here there is the germ of tyranny; and I try to go live under other laws ". Thus wrote Alexis de Toqueville in the middle of the nineteenth century, in which the problem of the satisfaction of individual rights, within hoped-for democratic societies, was beginning to be perceived as a danger to the aspiration of democratic life itself. When we talk about individual rights, we talk about possible extensions of powers that are difficult to quantify, if there is no super partes power with clear control functions, to establish limits beyond which a right of the few could easily override the hopes of the many. If it were not so we would be at the mercy of mere arbitrariness. This super partes power should always be ready to remember how a natural and universal law exists, unchanging in every age, a reference that, using Aristotle's words, "With its prohibitions it distracts from evil". In short, the best, even if he is the best and his talent is admired, he cannot take everything. And if in the race to take everything, from the best, even many run, without having been asked, to serve him in this run-up, then the matter becomes really dangerous. Oh yes, because I don't think that Andrea Agnelli telephoned Dazn's two commentators to impose or prefigure corrupt ideas on him, in exchange for a part comment on the events of the derby. I believe, instead, that by now, in order to ingratiate himself with the emperor Agnelli, various football players compete to please him.

What are Milan and Turin for?

In this way they believe, and probably are right, to make an increasingly bright and profitable career in the sector in which they operate. Andrea Agnelli sees and lets, because foolish servants are always useful in climbing a power, any power. They have the merit of being faithful, because the fear of losing that little bit of privilege and money that a career in the shadow of the emperor ensures is an excellent deterrent against all forms of critical spirit. We are beyond the fear of a punitive and aggressive retaliation by the emperor, and we are beyond the Don Abbondio Manzoniano fearful of the "Bravi" of Don Rodrigo. We are aware of not disturbing the operator, in the hope of reaping the benefits. Practically, in Italian football, all sorts of opposition or rebellion against Juventus in recent years has often been helped on and off the field. But why does the Juventus company not fear the reputation of "Mangiafuoco" which has now become a reality? Andrea Agnelli, with his actions and his statements, has shown to have very clear ideas. His is a neo-liberal mentality, Milton Friedman's "Chicago School" style so to speak.

A mentality that has pushed the great capitalists of this world, and Andrea Agnelli is one of these, to establish the life cycle of taking everything they can take. No matter ethics, the common good does not matter, the state does not matter, the rules do not matter: only the good of your business counts. The paradoxical thing that to all people this has been passed off as the new advancing, and people have believed in it, and are believing in it. Praising a football company managed as a company makes many fans feel that they are sophisticated progressives (ah, vanity). Strengthened by this dominant mentality, the Bianconeri president set off to hunt the world, to impose the Juventus product on billions of potential consumers. A product declined in merchandising, TV rights, hotels, theme parks, restaurants, and everything that the neo-capitalist mentality has invented, is inventing and will invent. Winning the Serie A (using it as a launching pad) in a continuous and unrestrained way, it served Juve to create the capital and the image of a football super power legitimized to sit at the table of the football clubs that count worldwide. In this global promotion operation, Juventus has had many "partners".

The soccer that falls hostage

The Credito Sportivo to finance the Juventus Stadium operation, the Municipality of Turin concede a few pennies of ample space in its territory for the numerous commercial and real estate operations that were born and are being born around the Stadium, a sports brand of global value that 'has literally covered in money as a technical sponsor, a brand within the FCA Group that continues to increase cyclically the fee for its brand affixed to the shirts of Chiellini and companions. All this in spite of any regulation of the financial FairPlay, and in spite of any law necessary to regulate free competition. The result was the destruction of the sense of the competition of the Serie A championship. It must be said strongly: at Paris Saint Germain and Juventus it was allowed, with their overwhelming economic and political strength, to cancel the competitive value of Serie A and of the Ligue 1. In these two championships now it is played to get second. The maximum value of the game of football has been squandered, and that is the possibility of the weaker to hope for something against the stronger. And if there is no competition there is not even the fan, changed anthropologically, from Agnelli, to the rank of consumer. Exactly like the consumer of videogames mentioned by him and feared. But a question arises: when will the eternal seconds rebel? Is it possible that Aurelio De Laurentiis and colleagues are doing well in this situation? What makes us think is the "wickedness" with which Umberto's son is proceeding, in a bulimic spirit that has never brought luck to those who preceded him in the same attitude, rather than just ruins.

In this situation it is easy to understand why foolish servants proliferate: better to settle for some rich bone to munch on and set aside some more, than risk seeing a hand that slightly shrinks, failing to do so, so as not to create a rigorous contact with the ball. Maybe if those of Dazn will ask Agnelli for an opinion on the intrepid derby opinion leaders, he can only reserve them benevolence. And you know, the emperor just needs a smile or a grumble to determine a destiny. Words, in a semi-god context, are already something too. Will there be someone who will try to bring back the semi-god in the condition of man? Will there be a judge in Berlin? It is also hoped for the good of Juventus.

By Anthony Weatherill

(Carmelo Pennisi collaborated)


Anthony Weatherhill, a native of Manchester and grandson of historian coach Matt Busby, has long been involved in sports politics. He is the true creator of the Supporter Card, which then arrived in Italy on the basis of completely different assumptions and intentions.

Disclaimer: the commentators hosted by Toro News express their thoughts independently of the editorial line followed by the editorial staff of the online newspaper, which has always made pluralism and free sharing of opinions its own distinctive trait.



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