This past Saturday afternoon saw Juventus claim their second successive Serie A title and launch a new hashtag, but the achievements of the women’s team are easily muddied by the goings on on the men’s side.
From blinking into existence in 2017, buying out A.S.D. Cuneo Calcio Femminile’s Serie A licence (we love when men’s teams with money do that), the Bianconere claimed their first title within a year. However, it wasn’t a straight run to the finish line and the Italian giants ended up finishing level on points with Brescia (who have since been brought out by AC Milan) and had to play a title decider. Ultimately Chaaa-ching FC won the heads-up against Brescia on penalties and the two-time champions got gobbled up by another Italian powerhouse.
The 2017-18 win brought about an instant promotional video from Juventus titled #WOMENF1RST which stood as a way of selling their first scudetto. (And don’t forget to buy your #WOMENF1RST merch from our online store). It suggested a movement, an idea to sweep Italy and inspire young girls, but was a hollow self-congratulatory pat on the back.
Hashtag game questionable
After clinching the title last weekend, the Juventus social media department were back at it, releasing a video for #HERE2STAY. The newest hashtag taking on the idea that the second title-winning season was a cinematic sequel, the 83 second video even more self-congratulatory than the first. [#HERE2STAY t-shirts available for just €19.90 (plus postage)]
After the incredible success of #WOMENF1RST, Juventus presents: #HERE2STAY https://t.co/TEFK4dQYgG pic.twitter.com/foL9sRhgYQ— Juventus FC Women (@JuventusFCWomen) April 20, 2019
Whilst there is nothing wrong with looking back over a winning season and congratulating those involved, acting like your season has been the blockbuster hit of the summer is where I draw the line. Especially when the team boasts their record attendance at the Allianz Stadium without mentioning that the majority of Juventus’ home matches were played at the training ground in Vinovo, which can hold 500 spectators. Bigger matches are moved to the Stadio Silvio Piola in Vercilli, nearly an hour’s drive outside of Turin. The club could do with spending more time looking into a bigger and better home with paying fans instead of dwelling on a one-time record breaker.
Circling back to #WOMENF1RST which of course is, Juventus Women winning their first title. But doesn’t it sound like something a little… feministic? Something about the regard in which Juventus hold their women’s team…
Yet, given their black and white support of a player who has very publicly been accused of rape, maybe they’re not quite the equalists. Juventus or, La Fidanzata d’Italia (The Girlfriend of Italy) as the club is sometimes warmly referred to, might do well to step back and consider their values. The media team at Juventus were swift to respond to Der Spiegel’s articles about the details of the Ronaldo rape case and the documents in Der Spiegel’s possession stating that the footballer was aware his partner was saying “no” appeared to mean nothing to the Turin club. A tweet about the striker’s professionalism was beyond tone deaf.
.@Cristiano Ronaldo has shown in recent months his great professionalism and dedication, which is appreciated by everyone at Juventus. 1/1— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 4, 2018
Women first, €340M signings with rape allegations against them firster.
Maybe football is just a business and Juventus have taken a gamble on the Portuguese star. They paid for him, and don’t want to lose out on potential shirt sales and titles - our stomachs are turning too.
More bianco, less nere
With that in mind, it’s only right that the Piedmont club are backing Moise Kean with the same... wait, what? They’re blaming.. oh.
The Italian champions having come under fire recently for the unfathomable way they’ve handled racist abuse directed at Kean. The youngster, coincidentally from Vercelli, has been with Juventus since he was ten has been making himself known recently, mostly for his football but unfortunately also for the racist taunts he’s received. In jaw-dropping fashion, teammate Leonardo Bonucci was quick to declare that Kean was half to blame for the taunts. And then his coach, Massimiliano Allegri, piled on saying he had provoked the fans with his celebrations.
Maybe #WH1TEMENF1RST would be a more appropriate line for the Piedmontese club?
There is little beyond money that separates Juventus Men from Juventus Women, with the women’s section fully under the men’s team. The millions of Euros invested done in the name of Juventus, the training centre in Vinovo home to both the women and the men. The specialists available to Rita Guarino’s team be they physiotherapists, sport psychologists, data analysts, nutritionists or... well, you get the picture, the same that would be available to Allegri’s charges.
Even as the women’s team fly high in Serie A, noses in front of the other cash-backed female arms of clubs, they seem more like good PR than a team in their own right. A few million Euros thrown to the women’s team to give the sense of equality and modernity as the club continue to pay Ronaldo’s annual €30M salary is enough to leave a bitter, putrid taste.
But for now, the women’s team are free to swill their celebratory glasses of Nutella and Barolo ahead of their Coppa Italia final this weekend, and the media team are left to brainstorm ideas for a third successive scudetto, maybe #OOPSW3DIDITAGAIN?