Juventus revealed annual losses of €209.9million as the Italian giants defended their involvement at the forefront of the failed European Super League project.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic saw income plummet for the Serie A club during the 2020-21 financial year, Juventus said on Friday.
Juventus said it had covered the losses with its share premium reserve, meaning the club’s overall net debt stood at €389.2million, just €4million higher than at the end of the previous year.
The Turin club had reported annual losses of €89.7million for 2019-20, and the club said it estimated “direct and indirect adverse effects” of the pandemic from March 2020 to June 2022 to amount to €320milion, based on an assumption that economic normality would steadily resume.
Juventus, who expect to post ” a significant loss” for 2021-22, said the club’s board had “decided to start the process for a capital increase of up to €400million, including any share premium, to be offered to the company’s shareholders”.
Since the end of the last financial year, Juventus have allowed star forward Cristiano Ronaldo to leave the club for Manchester United, collecting a transfer fee and saving significant sums on his salary.
Together with Barcelona and Real Madrid, Juventus have continued to back proposals for a Super League, despite widespread opposition to the scheme when it was revealed in April.
Where most clubs backed away from the project within days amid a wave of criticism, including the six English Premier League clubs involved, Juventus remain apparently keen for it to get off the ground.
Club chairman Andrea Agnelli was a prime figure behind bringing the concept together and Juventus included a section in their financial statement, in which they stood by their belief in the “legitmacy” of such a league.
The club described the Super League as an “alternative to the UEFA competitions but not to national leagues and cups”.
The Juventus statement said: “As at today, it is not possible to predict with certainty the outcome and future development of the Super League project, of the legitimacy of which Juventus remains confident.”