MILAN - The Serie A strike is
still planned for matches on September 25 and 26 with a meeting on
Wednesday not expected to bring progress which could stop the
action, Italian players' union chief Sergio Campana has said.
However, another set of talks between the union and Serie A
bosses on Friday could be more decisive in resolving a dispute
over a collective contract which guarantees players' basic
"Tomorrow will only be a meeting about technicalities,"
Campana told Reuters.
"Tomorrow there isn't the possibility of a deal. Right now
the strike is on. I can confirm we are in a discussion phase and
Friday could be important but at the moment I can't say we are
Serie A chief Maurizio Beretta and Italian football federation
president Giancarlo Abete both said before a meeting between the
parties on Monday that they were hopeful of stopping the strike,
which would cause chaos for broadcasters and fans.
A collective contract between the union and the league
expired in the close season and players have been angered by
Serie A's hard-nosed approach to negotiating a new deal.
The two main sticking points are the clubs' proposals that
players who are no longer wanted should accept a transfer in the
final year of their contract and that players not deemed good
enough should train away from the first-team squad.
"On these two particulars, there is a position we cannot
accept at all. A club can't make it an obligation that a player
leaves if the contracted player does not want a transfer," added
Campana, a lawyer and former player with Vicenza and Bologna.
"A contracted player also has the right to train with the
first team and can't be marginalised. The league has taken note
of our position but I don't know what they will decide."
Several Italian football pundits such as Paolo Di Canio have
criticised the players, often millionaires, for deciding to
strike over such an issue when ordinary working people are
struggling after the economic crisis.
The Italian game, stunned by the national team's World Cup
group stage exit as holders, has only just recovered from a 2006
match-fixing scandal which severely hit the brand and experts
say a prolonged strike could cause similar damage.
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