Serie A Strike Ominous for Opening Weekend Games

August 25, 2011

The risk of a football strike increased in Italy as the League refused to sign an agreement over players’ rights, three days before the scheduled start of the Serie A season.

The Italian Players Union (AIC) has already emphasised it will not play at the weekend if the League does not sign the agreement, which has been the subject of negotiations for the last year.

Maurizio Beretta, League President said: “The League’s general assembly has rejected the agreement with the players by a large majority of 18 votes against two.”

Strike action was twice narrowly averted last season as AIC and the League tried to secure a new collective agreement to replace the previous one which expired at the end of the 2009/10 season.

The main problem which either party cannot agree on is that the AIC wants guarantees that these players will not be forced to train separately from their squads or be forced to move. The clubs want their coaching staff to be allowed to make the decision.

The League said in a statement it also wanted to insert a clause confirming the players would pay a new solidarity tax announced by the Italian government this month on all workers earning over $130,000 a month.

AIC president Damiano Tommasi reiterated his players would only play if an agreement was signed “At this time, we aren’t in a position to play,” said Tommasi. “The League’s demands are spurious and I don’t see how that this is going to change.” The Italian Football Federation will deliberate today over the impending strike.