Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Vote may have prevented Serie A breakaway

Serie B clubs have unanimously voted to accept a reduced payment from their top-flight counterparts.

Serie BThe decision will help to prevent Serie A from breaking away and forming an independent, English Premier League-style, Super League division.

The possibility of a split had been touted after tensions mounted between Italy's top two divisions this week.

The 22 Serie B clubs had initially refused to accept the £51million on offer, demanding that figure be increased to £60m.

That decision infuriated those in the top-flight, with Cagliari President Massimo Cellio proposing a breakaway.

In turn, Serie B sides threatened to go on strike if their demands were not met, claiming they risked bankruptcy without the aid of added revenue.

However, those in the second tier have today decided to accept the offer currently on the table.

"We showed unity by unanimously accepting the £51m, added to the £5m from Sky Italia for the television rights and the contribution of £2m that each Serie A side will pass on to the second division," explained Livorno President Aldo Spinelli.

"With these resources, there will be some clubs who won't make it to Christmas," he also warned.

Ascoli are already struggling to pay player wages, while Triestina and Avellino have been docked points for financial irregularities.

With that in mind, the President of Lega Calcio - the union of the 42 Serie A and B clubs - expects the situation to deteriorate.

"I am very pleased to note the great sense of responsibility shown by the Serie B Presidents today," he said.

"Naturally the matter does not end here, because Serie B's problems cannot be resolved just with this payment.

"I have pledged to face this serious issue with the FIGC President Giancarlo Abete and tomorrow there will be a meeting."

Source: Reuters

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