Long before the pandemic rocked football to the core, Andrea Agnelli called for a restructuring of the Champions League

The Juventus president questioned the idea that an elite club could miss out on qualifying due to a “bad season” due to the “resulting financial damage”

Rather than questioning the wisdom of basing your budget on the guesswork of Champions League football, Agnelli and his many supporters focused only on reducing the risk of failure by promoting the results-oriented meritocracy on which the game is based, essentially undermining

His dream format, which assigns some places to teams that do not qualify through their domestic leagues based on club coefficients, is now set to be ratified by UEFA at the end of the month

At the moment there is a real risk that Juventus will not qualify for next season’s Champions League He’s currently fifth in Napoli and just four points ahead of sixth in Lazio. Your slump couldn’t come at a worse time

Like so many other top European clubs, the Bianconeri have been badly hit by the Covid-19 economic crisis

They have already posted losses of € 113.7 million (£ 98m / $ 135m) for the first half of the 2020-21 season and Porto’s shocking knockout of the Champions League in the round of 16 last month kept the tension in Turin only intensified

Indeed, immediately after Juve’s departure, the question was repeatedly asked: can the club really afford to keep Cristiano Ronaldo for the next season?

The Portuguese superstar did exactly what was asked of him He strengthened the profile of the old lady from the field and hit it free

Ronaldo, however, costs Juve around 85 million euros a year in wages, taxes and amortization, which is a lot of money to be spent on a player, especially when other areas of the squad are clearly in dire need of reinforcement during the summer transfer window. p>

Sports director Fabio Paratici has insisted that Juve has no intention of parting with Ronaldo, telling Sky Sport Italia: “We have the best player in the world and we’re holding on to”

After all, Ronaldo just wouldn’t see the final year of his contract when he played in the Europa League next season, and yet Juve couldn’t afford to keep him in that scenario

The good news for the Bianconeri is that they still have their fate in their own hands and will have to face Napoli on Wednesday night to return to a more comfortable qualifying position. They have eight of their last nine home games against the Napoli club in the Won Serie A

The bad news, however, is that Napoli has played the pair’s last two league sessions, and it is they who are on the forming side at the moment

Gennaro Gattuso’s men have won four games – their best run of the season – as Juve comes into play after an embarrassing home defeat to Benevento and a damaging tie with Turin preceded by a shame, Covid-19 breach Determinations by three players

The Corriere della Sera has even claimed that Andrea Pirlo will be sacked if the Bianconeri are defeated by their southern rivals

Fabio Cannavaro has rightly pointed out that Juve would look ridiculous if they abandoned the Pirlo project after just one season

“When Juve chose Andrea, he knew very well that he had no experience,” the world champion told Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday

“It makes sense that he has time to mature, including for his relationship with the team. There are 30 points left to play and it is right to keep this judgment pending

“And he did good things, started young players and ran a complicated dressing room with people who won a lot. Sure, some things don’t work, he made mistakes: He’s a person

Juve, remember, is still paying former coach Maurizio Sarri which is why some pundits have even suggested bringing him back for the remainder of the season to make sure they get in the top four

That just won’t happen, of course. But the idea that another former Bianconeri boss could return is gaining momentum

The work he’s done in Turin – five back-to-back Scudetti and two Champions League finals – is looking better and better every week, and some fans would love it very much if it got stabilized again, what how looks like a sinking ship

It is highly unlikely, however, that a little over two weeks ago, when he detailed how his tenure at Juventus came to a “natural end”, he told Sky that he still had a “good relationship” with Agnelli

Your meeting was arguably more evidence of that fact than anything more significant. As Pirlo told reporters on Tuesday, “I was warned by the President himself about this meeting with Allegri. They are friends

“There are friendships outside of football If I went to dinner with (Paolo) Maldini the next day they would say that he wanted me to be his coach in Milan. There are also friendships in football These are normal things”

Allegri’s mentor Giovanni Galeone said the Livorno-born won’t make his comeback until the end of the summer and that he hasn’t ruled out a return to Juventus

That only added to speculation that Pirlo could now be removed from his role and temporarily replaced by Igor Tudor – or at the end of the season by Allegri

So it is imperative that Pirlo prove against Napoli that he can achieve Juve’s most fundamental goal: qualifying for the Champions League

He insisted at his pre-game press conference that he keep the full support of his employers and players, but admitted that things were not going according to plan at all

“I wasn’t expecting such a difficult year,” he admitted. “This international calendar has accumulated a number of commitments that have made this year so special that we shouldn’t repeat it

“A lot has happened this year that will help me grow, and from here we will start all over again”

He’ll start again elsewhere if he doesn’t get into the top four

Pirlo is by no means responsible for all of Juve’s current problems, the majority of which are due to poor transfer strategy – something he has no control over

However, he just can’t afford to turn a “difficult year” into a “bad season” because Agnelli literally can’t either

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World News – GB – Juventus’ Serie A struggles mean Agnelli’s Champions League nightmare could become a reality Torcom

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