Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Most things in life move at a more relaxed pace in Italy.
So, unsurprisingly, it has taken a few decades for Serie A to finally break away from the rest of the Italian football league.
Thursday’s decision to set in motion a plan to follow the model established by the English Premier League some 17 years ago will see the top flight chase the riches at the end of the rainbow without the burden of having to drag Serie B along.
"What is this thing anyway? A bouncy castle?"
Only Lecce, who feel more at home in the lower division anyway, voted against the inevitable. But in theory everyone should benefit from a greater slice of the television rights that will be available across the board.
So, from 2010, rather than sell their rights individually - where according to La Gazzetta dello Sport the likes of Inter, Milan and Juventus rake in something in the region of 90million euro while those at the bottom end of the scale profit from around three to five million - they will all come under one collective deal.
The breakaway means that Serie B will be left to sink or swim because the 20 percent of the television revenue, which in the last deal amounted to 20million euro, will disappear forever.
It’s life-jackets all round then as those in the lower tier attempt to swim against a tidal wave of insolvencies.
While Serie A has been enjoying relatively healthy average gate attendances – around 25,000 mainly thanks to Inter and Milan – it’s a paltry 6,000 plus change in the lower division.
The feeling is that many clubs in B will overstretch themselves, especially with player salaries in the scramble to reach the promised land of the new Super Liga – no official name has been decided as yet but Super has a certain ring to it.
Then it will be the tricky matter of remaining there.
However, super is how those about to enjoy the good life will be feeling right now. Another season of hanging on in there for the likes of Chievo and Siena, and they can then start enjoying some of the spoils that for so long have been out of reach.
The big clubs will be rubbing their hands with glee as well.
"Mu ha ha ha..."
They might have to give up a few crumbs of the pie, but they will be thinking of all those prime-time match slots and sponsors they will be able to bring onboard.
And as their coffers swell, maybe they will even build their own stadiums. Goodness, the possibilities are endless.
Modern football. Who would have thought it would catch on in Italy?
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It's good to see the money will be spread out more evenly than the current situation. However, I think it would be madness not to give a percentage to the lower leagues too. Hopefully the clubs in the top division will now take the next step on stadium development.It's time Italian football caught up with the rest of the modern European game.
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