Friday, May 1, 2009

A Breakaway Serie A

"We have created a new league for Serie A."

- Maurizio Zamparini, Palermo president

I need to write about something other than Arsenal, and this is it: Italy's Serie A clubs are planning to break away from the Serie B and form and independent top-flight league along the lines of the English Premier League. 

It's interesting. It's news. It's got nothing to do with Wenger's tactical blunders, or our defensive woes, or Adebayor's frustrating ability to tease and not deliver. So for the next few minutes, it's what we're going to talk about. 

Serie A's been moribund since the bribery scandal, but truthfully, it's been stagnant before then. It started when Juve and Milan began to co-operate with each other instead of fighting with each other. It continued with Milan realised the Serie A was so uncompetitive that they could play geriatrics and still qualify for the Champions League. It reached a peak (can stagnancy have a peak?) when Juventus was kicked down to Serie B for bribery. 

And now, the league's just drifting. 

There's no money in Italian football. The big clubs have their own pay-TV agreements. The small clubs make do with scraps. The stadiums are half-full, and the tickets are cheap. It's a bit like England before Rupert Murdoch nabbed the First Division and turned England into a land of pay-TV watching couch-potatoes. Rupert Murdoch has many sins to answer for. 

Italian clubs wants a piece of this bonanza. And creating a breakaway league which doesn't have to subsidise a poorer Serie B will help that. Pity the poor Serie B clubs that will now be even more impoverished, but you know, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

It's an interesting development. Will this mean that Italian clubs will now have the financial impetus to compete for the best players? Will this make the Serie A more or less competitive, as more talented payer invariably drift to the big three of Inter, Milan and Juve? Will this mean we can now sell Adebayor to Milan for ridiculous amounts of money?

I don't know. But I'm curious to see what happens. 


Vertino Aleci said...

I was wondering where the Arsenal connection would kick in and there it was right at the last sentence! The thing I find confusing, if Serie A is so poor, how could they afford to buy expensive players know Juve buying Buffon etc etc

Patt said...

Is the Serie A really that broke? Its kinda hard to believe with the number of superstars plying their trade there.

Vertino Aleci said...

I meant second to last sentence btw. Yeah Patt, that's what I'm wondering also.

Connolly's agent said...

Not the top clubs, obviously. But the rest are pretty broke. They do their own TV deals, so the money isn't as evenly distributed as in the Premier League.

But even with the top clubs, when was the last genuine superstar bought from outside the league?

Patt said...

Ronaldinho in the summer.

weg said...

damn. forgot about him. but it was just milan and man city after him.