Thursday May 18 2017
Agnelli: ‘Stadium too small’

Andrea Agnelli explains the capacity of Juventus Stadium led to ticket touting, and denies any mafia links.

The club has been deferred to the FIGC’s disciplinary commission for providing tickets to the club’s ultras, who had been infiltrated by organised crime.

Today the Bianconeri President gave evidence as a witness to the anti-mafia commission, and explained why the phenomenon arose.

“We were caught by surprise in having to manage a stadium which is too small and sold-out every Sunday,” Agnelli explained.

“Ticket touting should be opposed, even if I think that one person giving a ticket for the game to another can’t be criminalised.

“What’s different is getting tickets purely for profit, that has to be fought and digital technology is widening it, thanks to the use of so-called ‘bots’, software which allows you to conclude a large number of transactions in a matter of seconds.

“If I think of the [Champions League] final we will proudly play in Cardiff, I go online and I can find tickets going for €3,000-€5,000.

“These are absurd prices, but events like this generate huge interest, where supply is far lower than demand. That’s a source of pride for us, but also a problem.

“The complexity and the geographic dynamics of our fanbase have meant that, in wanting to organise the fans correctly, it created space for people looking to profit off sales.”

The alleged mafia member at the centre of the investigation is Rocco Dominello, and Agnelli was asked about his meetings with him.

“I’ve never met him alone. I remember three or four meetings, once at a dinner in Asti, once in my offices with all the fans, they came again for Christmas greetings and once at my offices in Lamse with Alessandro D’Angelo when I came to meet all the fans.

“No-one had any doubt before the Turin investigations that Rocco Dominello was anything but a simple ultra.

“In general at the start of the football season we’d meet with the organised supporters, but never under threats from the ultras, and we never thought of Dominello as an ‘operative’.

“If my staff and I had known what we know today, we’d never have had any contact with him.”