Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Serie A looking to breakaway

Italy's top-flight could follow the example of the English Premier League by breaking away from the second division and form a Super League.

Lega CalcioSerie A and Serie B clubs have never seen eye-to-eye on money when it comes to deciding television rights, but the second tier has been struggling in recent years because of falling attendances and the lack of a television deal last season.

The two divisions make up the Italian football league, the Lega Calcio, and the Presidents of each of the clubs have been meeting this week to try and broker a deal.

But the 22 Serie B clubs are set to reject an offer of nearly £51m for television rights from their Serie A counterparts, a decision that is set to hasten the split.

"Behind this there are projects grander than us like a Superlega and the changing of the rules for TV to a collective deal," Lega Calcio President Antonio Matarrese said.

Serie A clubs have seen how profitable a breakaway can be, with the English Premier League now the most lucrative domestic football competition in the world.

The Premier League broke away from three other divisions in England in the early 1990s and has prospered thanks to its own television rights and marketing, sponsorship and commercial deals.

"The day has arrived. The league is 20 years behind and we cannot lose any more time," the President of Cagliari Massimo Cellino was quoted as saying in today's La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Serie A is separating from B."

Source: Reuters

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