Serie A strike avoided
The planned players’ strike for this weekend’s Serie A matches has been called off after a deal was reached with the league over a new collective contract, the Italian footballers’ union (AIC) said on Thursday.
The main point of contention had been Lega Serie A’s proposal in relation to the forced transfers of players coming towards the end of their contracts and squad exclusions.
After months of negotiations, the two sides met on Thursday to define a new bargaining agreement – the old deal between the two parties having expired in June – and the new contract will be signed next week.
A statement from AIC read: “The Association of Italy’s Footballers (AIC), take into account the good work done for the new text of the collective agreement, with the mediation of the president of the FIGC (Giancarlo) Abete.
“And, having listened to the representatives of the teams, it announces that it has cancelled the action of protest awaiting the definite signature and that the players of Serie A will go out on the pitch for the 16th round of games on December 11 and 12.
“The AIC thanks the players that have shown total participation, unity, and a high sense of responsibility to defend their professional dignity and the fundamental rights of all workers.”
Gianni Petrucci, president of the Italian Olympic Committee, was delighted with the announcement. He said: “The decision to call off the strike of the Serie A players is an act of intelligence and merit has to be given to Giancarlo Abete, president of the Italian Football Federation, but also to Maurizio Beretta, president of the Lega Serie A, and AIC president Sergio Campana, who have done everything for an agreement to be reached.”
Previous failed attempts led to the AIC last week announcing that no Serie A games would be played this weekend in protest against the Italian league. However, a positive meeting in Rome on Tuesday opened the doors for an understanding to be reached by all parties today.
“Finally, we have tackled the issues and we are in agreement,” said Italy’s football league chief Maurizio Beretta.
The players’ union have threatened to strike on other occasions in recent years, but Serie A football has not been halted since a players’ strike that started March 17, 1996, to protest against several issues relating to the Bosman ruling.