MILAN - The Italian League made a peace
offering to players on Thursday which it hopes will prompt them
to call off a strike that prevented Serie A from starting last
Lega Serie A, representing the 20 first division clubs, said
in a statement it was willing to implement six new measures
which had been agreed in principle with the Italian Players'
Union (AIC) last December.
It added it was also prepared to meet the AIC again to
negotiate the so-called article seven, which concerns players
who are no longer wanted by their clubs and which has been the
main sticking point for an agreement.
AIC president Damiano Tommasi said he wanted time to
consider the new offer.
"We have taken a great step forward," Napoli president
Aurelio De Laurentiis told reporters after Thursday's meeting.
"If there is any type of strike after this, it will be solely
down to Tommasi."
The AIC wants a guarantee that players who are no longer
wanted by their clubs will be allowed to train with the
first-team squad until the end of their contracts.
The clubs say the decision should be down to the respective
The League and the AIC have been widely condemned over the
strike, with Italian FA president Giancarlo Abete saying he was
baffled as to how article seven had attracted so much attention.
Many Italians see the strike as futile with the League as
much to blame as the players.
The League added in its statement that it had proposed that
Abete have the final word if the two sides could still not reach
an agreement over article seven.
A previous collective agreement expired at the end of the
2009/10 season and negotiations for its renewal dragged on for
the whole of last season.
Strikes were narrowly averted on two occasions, the second
in December by an agreement which the AIC thought had settled
However, Lega Serie A never signed the agreement alleging,
among other things, that there had been a change of leadership
at the AIC.
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