AC Milan VP Galliani berates “decaying” stadia in Italy

August 8, 2011

Italy’s stadia has come under the microscope in recent months, and AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has become the latest club official to criticise the state of the country’s soccer venues, stating Serie A risks falling further behind the rest of Europe through lack of development.

Galliani’s comments come after Cesena president Igor Campedelli last week called for government action to address the problem of Italy’s decaying stadia.

Juventus will break new ground for Italian football in September when it opens its new 41,000-seat stadium, the country’s first privately owned football venue.

However, the majority of Serie A teams still have to pay rental fees to city councils for the right to play in their stadia, impacting on their ability to drive matchday revenue and renovate their home arenas.

As a result of recent performances in European competition, Serie A has fallen behind England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and Germany’s 1.Bundesliga in the UEFA co-efficients, and Galliani predicts that France’s new stadia development for Euro 2016 will lead to the country overtaking Italy.

“Thanks to the new stadiums being built for Euro 2016, I predict that the French will also overtake us,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “We could be competitive with equal factors and situations, but unfortunately that’s not the case.

Galliani insists that clubs “can’t do anything” to prevent it due to laws surrounding the development of new stadia.

“Spain has the advantage that they don’t have collective TV rights. Germany have overtaken us thanks to the wonderful new stadiums they built for the World Cup in 2006. It’s like theatres and restaurants. There are beautiful theatres and ugly ones; there are luxury restaurants and then pizzerias. But we can’t do anything. Without stadiums we can’t do anything and without a new law we can’t construct new stadiums. Even the politicians have understood that, but the design of the law has remained blocked between the two branches of parliament.”