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Serie A eight signal intent

Published: Tuesday 30 July 2002, 19.03CET
Eight clubs have called for the start of the Serie A season to be postponed. features

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Published: Tuesday 30 July 2002, 19.03CET

Serie A eight signal intent

Eight clubs have called for the start of the Serie A season to be postponed.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has received a request from the eight clubs yet to secure a pay-TV contract to delay the start of the Serie A season by a month to 1 October.

Press conference
The chairmen of the eight clubs in question - Atalanta BC, Brescia Calcio, AC Chievo Verona, Como Calcio, Empoli FC, Modena FC, Piacenza FC and AC Perugia - have scheduled a press conference for tomorrow afternoon where they will state that the Italian pay-TV duopoly discriminates against smaller clubs.

Obliged to sell
Teams playing in the top two tiers of Italian football are obliged to sell their television rights to one of two pay-TV companies, Stream and Tele+, who then decide the amount they will receive. The eight clubs recently formed the Plus Media Trading cartel to act as a voice for the smaller teams, amid growing concerns over the income differential at opposite ends of the scale.

'Only have crumbs for us'
Brescia chairman Luigi Corioni, who is also president of Plus Media Trading, said: "We are determined not to play until we receive a decent offer from the pay-TV companies. We would be happy to accept one sixth of what major clubs receive, but they have only offered us half of this."

Poor competition
Plus Media Trading have already presented a petition regarding the poor competition between pay-TV companies in Italy to the Anti-Trust authority.

'Serious problem'
"AS Roma chairman Francesco Sensi understands that there is a serious problem and he agrees with us," Corioni added. "So nine teams out of 18, half of Serie A, are unwilling to start the season if their requests won't be considered. I sincerely hope it will be enough to lead to a change in the near future."

Last updated: 31/07/02 9.52CET

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