Stunning news from Italy as the Italian Players’ Association (AIC) have announced that the players in Italy’s top flight will go on strike on the weekend of September 25-26. The biggest game that would be affected by the strike is Roma v Inter Milan on the 25th.
A statement issued by AIC said:
“The AIC, in complete agreement with all the Serie A clubs, have decided that these teams will not go out on the pitch for the fifth round of games of Serie A on September 25-26 in order to oppose the (Lega Calcio’s) request for the introduction of a new contractual regime.”
At issue is the collective contract between the association and the league, guaranteeing players’ rights. It expired on June 30, but no action has been taken by the Lega Calcio since then.
The main area of disagreement deals with what the players perceive as a lack of protection when clubs try to force them into a transfer when they enter the final year of their contracts. Other issues include flexible contracts – players having to accept less in their basic salary but looking to top it up if the team reach certain pre-defined targets.
A strike in Serie A by the players is not without precedent. Back in March 1996 the players staged a protest against several issues including the Bosman ruling.
Lega Calcio president Mario Beretta will meet Italian Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete and his AIC counterpart on Monday to discuss the strike threat.