Serie A Arrange Emergency Meeting After Gov. Backing to ‘Big 5’

June 14, 2011

Italian soccer’s elite Serie A league will stage an emergency meeting this evening, June 14, to discuss the backing given by the Italian government for the position of the country’s top five clubs in the long-running dispute over how to split television revenues earned last season.

The dispute revolves around how to share the Eur200 million related to the size of a club’s supporter base, with the league’s ‘big 5’ of Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Napoli and AS Roma insisting that, according to the 2008 ‘Melandri law’ which re-imposed collective selling of media rights, only one club preference per supporter should be taken into consideration.

The smaller clubs argued for a wider interpretation which allows for the fact that fans often support two or more clubs but were unsuccessful after the government’s legislative office said that the position of the big clubs was the correct interpretation of the law.

Udinese pointed out that the view is not legally binding, while Lazio owner Claudio Lotito suggested that the matter should be taken to the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court.

In other news, the nation’s second tier of soccer, Lega Serie B, said that it had received no offers for its live digital-terrestrial rights for next season by Friday’s deadline.