Juventus President Andrea Agnelli confessed parting company with Max Allegri was “the toughest decision” of his career, but it was “the right time.”
The Bianconeri patron held a joint Press conference with Allegri today after announcing the Coach will not be on their bench for next season.
“I will not reply to any question on the Juventus Coach for the 2019-20 campaign. As Max pointed out, there will be a Coach, so you can relax about that,” Agnelli began.
“I am here to celebrate Max, a man who wrote Juventus history. Before him, when people talked about five Scudetti in a row, we were talking about the 1930s with Edoardo Agnelli and Max did it by himself on that bench.
“I remember in May 2013 we were in London with Fabio Paratici, awaiting the Champions League Final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. As we sat there in the car, Allegri walked out of the hotel near us. I pointed to Fabio and said he’d be the next Juventus Coach.
“We had to wait 14 months, until the memorable July 16 2014, when he accepted to become – amid general protests – the Coach of Juventus.
“As we were about to drive up, we were alerted that the crowd was waiting for us. The driver wanted to take us to a secondary entrance, but I insisted we’d come to the main gate, because we had no reason to hide or be ashamed.
“It takes huge courage to take Juve on July 16 and go on to the Scudetto and Champions League Final in the same season. That takes cojones and Max has them.
“I want to confirm these were five marvellous years. Affection, respect, friendship, togetherness, hard work and above all many, many, many victories.
“We also had 18 months as neighbours, as Andrea Barzagli was living between us too, so we had breakfast together at the same bar almost every day. We shared visions of life, football and everything else, seeing each others’ kids grow up.
“We came back to win the title against Napoli when everyone had already written our sporting obituary. This season we won with weeks and weeks to go.
“I think above all and else, I have found a friend, someone I can confide in on many, many, many matters. At this point, I also have to consider the planning and future of Juventus. When this team comes together in July, it will begin with the objective of winning, both in Italy and in Europe.
“We are growing the Under-21 and the Juventus Women teams, are building more real estate to find a genuine home for these squads.
“I have the utmost faith in (vice-president Pavel) Nedved, Paratici and our directors who have the operative leadership of the club.”
President Agnelli had said straight after the Champions League quarter-final exit to Ajax that he wanted to continue with Allegri, so what changed?
“I read some things over the last few days, but when I thought to myself after the Ajax defeat that we’d continue with Max, it was absolutely a sincere thought.
“As time went on, we all considered and analysed various situations and I cannot deny there is some sadness in realising this was probably the best moment to close one of the most extraordinary eras in the history of Juventus.
“This is what happens when intelligent people look at a situation and decide to end on a high rather than drag it forward.
“Max was the director of all this, the leader of the orchestra, so I want to present him with this jersey.”
The shirt had 5, like the Serie A titles and years together, with ‘History Alone’ as the name.
“What he contributed more than everything was heart. Leading a business, you need to make the right decisions at the right time. Only time will tell if the correct decisions were made, but aside from the considerations outside this club, we have our reality inside the club.
“When someone enters a bar and comments on what is happening inside that club or that business, they can never understand all the elements taken into consideration unless they are inside that environment.
“As you know, I don’t like yes men, I want strong opinions, listen to them all and eventually decisions are made. Anyone unable to handle that pressure could not lead a football club or a business.
“The decision matured over time. When you face certain issues, it becomes clear that this is the right decision for the good of everyone involved.
“It is always and only the club that makes the decisions. This club has its history and nobody is indispensable at Juventus, from me down to the kit staff. If you look at the history of the Presidents, Coaches, players and even medical staff, it’s the history of Juventus and not of individuals.
“There is responsibility within a club that has to be shouldered in the interests of the club.”
Agnelli was asked if this was the toughest decision he’d ever had to make at Juventus.
“Yes. Absolutely, yes. For all the reasons I outlined… yes.”