Footballers in Italy have followed the example of their Spanish counterparts as the first week of action in the top flight has been cancelled. The players union (AIC) and Lega Serie A failed to come to a new collective bargaining agreement after talks in Milan broke down this morning.
A statement from the AIC read: “The Players’ Union takes into account the Lega’s decision to turn down our last proposal and hence, confirms the intention of not going out on the pitch for the first round of Serie A games.”
There are two main sticking points that neither side can agree on and that AIC were unhappy about. That one that got their goat the most was the concerning clubs that try to force players to leave whilst in the final year of their contract. If players refuse, it has become common practice for teams to make players train away from the first team squad for an undefined period of time.
AIC want these players to be allowed to train with their side whereas the league is requesting that coaches are autonomy when it comes to this issue.
The second bone of contention concerns the newly introduced solidarity tax and who should have to pay it. The clubs want to insert a stipulation that would see players, earning over €90,000 per year, pay the tax. The clubs rejected the union’s latest proposal by 18-2 and it looks like a while until anything will be agreed.
AIC President Damiano Tommasi said, “I have the distinct impression that 15 days will not be enough.
“We may need months.”
The latest move comes after a summer during which the NFL kicked off a long line of strikes and lockouts. Given the vast sums of money involved no one will want to see the league postponed for a long period let alone the clubs themselves.