Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta has said he is becoming disillusioned with the direction in which football is going.
Marotta, who moved to Juve in 2010 and has helped the club to six Serie A titles in a row, said he was worried about the way in which the game was changing off the pitch.
“In 40 years, I’ve been through all the transformations in this sector, from patronage to TV, from the invasion of finance to this new era in which the trading of players has buried romanticism for definite,” he told Il Sole 24 Ore.
“Fans’ favourites who would embody the spirit of a team and identify with them no longer exist, and will no longer exist. [Francesco] Totti and [Gianluigi] Buffon will be remembered as the last examples of classic football.
“Elite football will always be a form of entertainment. The best players will become even more like stars of showbusiness, and they are going to live off temporary wages — like actors in cinema — almost without any contractual obligations, if not to provide a spectacle for a given event.
“We may not want this as lovers of football, but the world economy is pushing in this direction.”
Marotta said he had needed to adapt to a changing landscape at Juventus as the club “aims to consolidate itself as one of the most important, profitable multinationals in the sports system.”
He added: “I definitely cannot see myself at any other club. I’d rather make my contribution to sport and lend my experience to trying at least to save the social and ethical values of sport within football.”
And Marotta said he and Juventus would learn from the disappointment of last season’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.
“I always bear in mind something which Nelson Mandela said, and that is: ‘I never lose — either I win or I learn,'” he added.
“We’ve learnt a few things from that experience. Call it know-how which will help us win certain trophies; a blend of experience and ability to be clear headed at crucial times.
“So the challenge starts again for us, and we are even more determined.”
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.