The failure to resolve a dispute over payments for television highlights could lead to the postponement of the start of the new season in Italy.
Italy’s Football League will decide in the next 24 hours whether to delay the start of the Serie A season as two separate disputes continue to rumble on.
A stalemate between the clubs and the television stations has arisen with little sign that the conflict can be resolved before the season’s scheduled kick-off in justunder two weeks time.
There are two major obstacles preventing an agreement being reached. Firstly, agreement has yet to be reached for the highlights package screened on terrestrial television, while 8 Serie A clubs have yet to reach agreement over the screening of live matches on satellite television.
Atalanta, Brescia, Chievo, Como, Empoli, Modena, Perugia and Piacenza have all been unable to reach agreement with either of Italy’s two subscription satellite channels Telepiu and Stream. Representatives of the eight teams recently called for the start of the season to be delayed – a move which until now has been rejected by the League.
But in an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport on Sunday, League president Adriano Galliani said the matter was nowa matter of urgency.
‘We will discuss this matter all together on Tuesday and until then no-one should make predictions,’ said Gallliani. ‘As president I hope only that whatever decision we take, we can reach it unanimously and that football knows how to show unity.
‘The starting date has already been set, only the assembly of 38 presidents can vote for a postponement,’ Galliani added.
The clubs are each demanding €10 million for the rights to live coverage of their home games this season while the two companies have offered only €4.5 million.
Meanwhile, state television station RAI, is also offering less than half the asking price for the rights to its’ traditional Sunday evening highlights package.
Last season RAI paid €88.8 million for first rights to Serie A and B goals and live coverage of Italian Cup matches. RAI say they are no longer interested in screening Italian Cup matches and have offered 44 million, half of last season’s figure, for the highlights package to league games.