Premiership Talk’s Brian Lofrumento reacts to the proposed reform for the Italian leagues.
The Premier League has arrived in Italy. Well, not quite, but close to it. Yesterday’s controversial headlines all discussed Serie A’s decision to breakaway from the rest of the Italian league structure. Fans of the Premier League are no strangers to this situation, as England’s very own top flight broke off from the Football League structure back in 1992.
Honestly, this move – as a Premier League fan – scares me. The Serie A has forever been tangled in scandal and financial issues (Fiorentina, anyone?). With the lower leagues off their backs, the newly formed Lega Calcio Serie A will be able to negotiate their own television deals, in the same fashion that Premiership clubs can. It is these crucial television rights that bring in the cash for Premiership clubs, and these rights end up bringing in the world’s best players to England’s best clubs. Now take all of that and substitute the Serie A and Italy in. It looks like the recipe for success, doesn’t it?
English clubs have hogged all of the Champions League semifinal spots in recent years, with Italian clubs lagging far behind when it comes to continental competitions. This extra cash should level the playing fields between the two leagues, and the bigger Italian clubs could be back on top within the next three to five years.
The one bad thing here is that the gap between the rich and the poor in Italy is only going to widen. Much like we see in the Premier League, newly promoted clubs struggle to match the financial clout that seasoned Premier League sides have, and teams like West Bromwich Albion look out of their league (quite literally) when it comes to attracting big name players during the transfer window. The clubs outside of the breakaway Serie A in Italy will find themselves in this position, as their television rights are completely independent from what the big clubs get. This spells trouble for the smaller clubs, while the bigger clubs will reap all of the rewards.
Without a doubt, though, this move will spice things up around the continent and around the globe. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the rampant AC Milan side that won Champions League crown after Champions League crown, but with this new breakaway league being fiscally rewarded then we should see Italian clubs back in with a shout. Remember that final between AC Milan and Juventus at Old Trafford not too long ago? Don’t be surprised…