BLOG ITALIA
Tuesday October 2 2012
Italian football’s building block

Juventus have led the way in building a new stadium, but, as David Swan writes, others in Italy are struggling to follow in their footsteps.

Juventus have started something. There was not a great deal of interest during construction of their new stadium, but now that everyone else has seen the end product there are a lot of envious glances being cast their way.

Other clubs in Serie A want what they have, except instead of attempting to undergo the long process Juventus had to endure they are taking the shorter, easier route that will ultimately prove less fruitful.

Udinese became the latest to announce that they plan to renovate their current stadium, reducing the capacity in the process. Milan have previously verbalised their intentions to have improvements made to San Siro by 2015 so that the stadium can host the Champions League Final.

But it is a shortcut, barely a quick-fix to the stadia problem that plagues the vast majority of Italy’s clubs, and because grounds are still owned by the local councils it is ultimately futile when it comes to generating significant revenues.

As owners, the local councils still syphon the vast majority of profits that come from the stadium. And because of the nonsensical relationship between football clubs, their grounds and the councils, there is a great reluctance on the latter’s part to sell to the clubs in question.

This is because they do not have to pay any part in any developments of the stadia. Udinese’s plan is being funded by a private investment of over €20m, while the improvements to San Siro are funded by Milan and Inter. So while the clubs are transforming their grounds into arenas that can, in Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani’s words “be used seven days a week”, the councils will be taking large chunks of the increased profits that come with adding restaurants and executive lounges.

The same applies to increasing attendances. The modernisation of Italy’s grounds is largely being conducted with attracting more people in mind, but if the money these new attending fans are paying is heading straight into the pockets of the councils then there is little motivation for the clubs to bother.

Most have already cottoned on to this, hence why many of them show little interest in renovation and why their grounds still appear old and out of date when compared to those across the rest of Europe.

Financial Fair Play has forced the hands of those in the UEFA competitions – they have to try and improve stadium income, however small that may be, in an effort to compete with their European counterparts and that means renovation. Yet Milan, Inter and any Italian team in the Champions League not named Juventus will continue to struggle until they own a stadium.  

The current system is not easy. Galliani spoke of Juventus having “favourable conditions” for building a stadium – referring to a council that allowed them to demolish the Delle Alpi and build the new arena on the same plot. But for other clubs without the ability to do this, gaining permission for a new arena is troublesome – councils and municipalities have no real desire to lose an easy profit-machine by having teams own their grounds.

It results in some having to take this shortcut – stadium renovation – because there is not yet an alternative. Clubs have been waiting for over three years for the Legge Crimi, or the Legge Stadi as it became subsequently known, after Silvio Berlusconi’s resignation and the formation of a new government with a new sports minister.

This will improve the working relationship with city councils and make it easier for Italian clubs to build their own stadia, identifying plots of land for the arenas in conjunction with councils. Importantly, it gives the councils 90 days to make a decision – a drastic reduction on the current shambles and, providing the arena is financially viable and given the OK, allows clubs to set the ball in motion much quicker.

However, the law has yet to be passed after some spectacular stalling with amendments to the details. Italy’s Tourism and Sport minister Piero Gnudi has stated he hopes to have this process complete by the end of the year, but this is a law that was first drafted in October 2009, so it may be best to take this with a pinch of salt.

President of the Lega Serie A Maurizio Beretta hopes the law can be passed “quickly” – the clubs need this to be the case. If only so they can stop wasting time with renovation.

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Have your say...
Milan, Roma, Inter and Napoli need 55.000 stadiums while Lazio and Fiorentina need 41.000 like Juventus. Verona, Torino, Genoa, Sampdoria and Bologna 30.000 and the rest 20.000 to 25.000. Juventus earn 30 mill more each year and has a 12th man on the pitch with the audience.
on the 2nd December, 2013 at 7:40pm
To all you Juve fans - just face it, you are the most hated team in Italy.
on the 4th October, 2012 at 7:43pm
they always try to wind up juventus so bitter and twisted so jelous of juventus even more so knowing that juventus was demoted and they came straight back up all of them roma milan inter all hoping juventus would go the same way as leeds did hahaha best thing that happened to juve was what happened they have come back stronger OWN !!!!! their own stadium and will most likely crush serie A this year and to boot look how well run juve is compared to the rest of them lol lol lol shambles
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 9:38pm
@Viktoria

I see you're back again and trying to provoke somebody, ha ?

Childish as usual.

No guys, he's a Milanista.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 6:16pm
Inter are working on building a new stadium for themselvs with the help of the Chinese compagni Oknowa (are whatever they're called :) ).
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 1:54pm
@Paul

In which trial, Inter convicted guilty of something? Palazzi said that Inter was as guilty as Juve but the same prosecutor said that Bonucci and Pepe would be convicted in the latest scandal too. Prove in court that Inter is guilty otherwise they are just ridiculous to say so, Juve was found guilty and was moved down and rightly so. Juve have also doped player, you could see Baggio during the trial when he understood what Juve have done to him how they had fool him.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 12:03pm
Juventus have never been proven guilty but have been punished more than the other clubs, inter have been proven guilty of sporting fraud but as yet remain unpunished go figure. Juventus lucky really all the juve haters need to look further than your nose pff.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 10:35am
Yes Juve were damaged most from Calciopoli, but it's not like they didn't deserve it. Please don't try to play the victim. I was mostly misunderstud i didn't mean particulary only Juve, but Milan and Inter too, it's clear now that Juve are economicly on another level compared to the Milanese clubs. By luck i meant, that a club like Juventus owend by a big company, have the luxury to fail for two seasons straight(2009-10, 2010-11) overspending too, at the same time building a new stadium.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 10:06am
Well.

All people at italy's football can only be Jealous to juventus.

Milan? Their ex-prime minister had done nothing. As same as Inter Morrati's..
Oh, and Juventus is the one that had won serie-A more than another + they're unbeaten last season.
Juventus lucky? Give me a break, they're strugle for it..
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 10:04am
What a tough match for Juve. Its not a surprise Shaktar are very underated. I thought Juve looked tired at times. God knows why Matri started ahead of Quagliarella. Matri is very poor in my view. Juve are still missing someone like Llorente up front, they must be more clinical. Its a decent point. Juve now must beat the danes in their next 2 games and then they are back in business. Its a tough group,lets be honest any 2 from Juve Chelsea and Shaktar could qualfiy, 3 very good teams.
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 8:14am
I believe the steps taht Juve took were very smart and you can see the results instantly! well played by the management of Juve! I believe it is a formula that has to be followed by other clubs in serie A. Im a die hard inter fan, And im quite happy that they themselves have announced a new Stadium in joining together with a Chinese investor. I really hope other clubs get the chance to do so immediately, as the stadiums are the biggest problem in Serie A. Forza inter!
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 7:25am
Juve lucky? Like others have said, yes Juve suffered great luck in recent years, actively being attacked time and again by the FIGC. Italian football needs renovation from the inside, and must rid old heads that are simply holding the league back.

New stadium are a must to have a competitive league, which Italy deserves. I would like to see Italy turn to youth if it meant facilities, stadium and all round upgrades where the result. Forza Juve!! Forza Conte!!
on the 3rd October, 2012 at 2:05am
@ viktor clearly a roma or inter fan glad we don't live under your regime half the population would be serving time on the say so of another your word against mine or 23 to be exact and guess what hes word counts laughable i thought we had a democracy ??????????
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 11:59pm
@ Anonymous about the roma comment ,that would be arjen who you are referring to and he has a gob like zeman if not worse he is so anti juventus its a joke like most on this website always banging on about juventus this juventus that fact is they are the best team in Italy might not be great in the champions league but they are miles ahead of every team in serie A .
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 11:56pm
@ funny guy i agree with you mate juventus are clearly born lucky as per usual the bitter jealous anti juventus crowd out in force again,juventus born lucky pff only roma and inter think this and as you rightly say having the prime minister for a president isnt lucky is it
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 11:52pm
@ Viktor

Do know anything bout Conte's case or what? He himself did not cheat, and about the failing to report to authorities his ban is just embarassing (AND i'm not a Juventus supporter!) for at least two reasons:
1. How can you have a justice system that demands that you have to prove you are innocent.
2. If Conte informed the team during a team meeting then everybody who was present should be banned as well, which they are not.

Funny thing, no one except Carobbio heard it, not even Conte
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 8:57pm
As a die hard Juve Fan, i must remind everyone that Juve negotiated for the 99years of Stadium lease/ownership before serie B, back in the early 2000s. So the renovation that began after 2006 is merely a continuation of the vision the management (moggi etc) had years ago.
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 7:58pm
It's hard to be serious about this article when Inter are set to have their own stadium by the year of 2015. A little research wouldn't harm anyone... Get it together football-italia, please.
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 6:03pm
lets ignore the fact that inter has already secured the conractor for their new stadium so the article can look cool
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 5:01pm
The fact conte is still appealing he's ban is ludacris. He should be banned for much longer. Cheater.
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 4:40pm
This is a great article.
It's been a while since I last read one like this.

@Anonymous

I will say what I always say for people like you,

PATHETIC !
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 4:16pm
We also forgot to mention that Juve are also very lucky in having their head coach banned form the touchlines for 10 months - all based on the testimony of one dodgy player who has been involved in match fixing activities for the last 3 years. One starts to wonder how much more luck can this Juve team handle???
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 2:46pm
Hahaha @Anonymous

Mate, where have you been for the last ten years?!?! Juventus is lucky?? Give me a break. Lucky for being sent to Serie B whereas other teams were deducted points (Milan) and some did not even have face the consequences for doing exactly the same (Inter)?

Inter and Milan splashed their money on players and their huge salaries during the glory years of ninetees and 00's without thinking ahead. Juventus, however, had to start from scratch and spent money wisely.
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 2:24pm
i'm guessing OP doesn't know about inter's cooperation with the china railway co. they'll have a brand new, privately owned stadium, in the mold of arsenal's emirates stadium, by 2015
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 1:59pm
God the abhorrence for Juventus is ridiculous on this website, even the other day somebody said they were favoured in the win against Roma, for the first time this season they played exceptionally well and destroyed that team, no help, no strange decisions, in fact, I think Roma could have had a player sent off. And now this, Juventus have suffered, and were not alone in match fixing, let it go.
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 1:58pm
Lets FIGC run by open minded people..
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 1:54pm
Looooool @ Anonymous. Dude you do know that Milan and Inter are owned by an ex-PRIME MINISTER and an oil rich, telecom owning horse face, right??! Yet they BOTH SHARE THE SAME STADIUM.

Do they really don't have any money to share a stadium of their own??!

I wonder.

The only thing Juventus can be counted lucky for is that they have people who were thinking in the right direction and actually went through all the troubles, hassles and bureaucracies to finally have their own stadium.
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 1:52pm
Because it is very unlucky for the mayor of Milan being part of Moratti's family and AC Milan having a prime minister of Italy for a president for years?

Yes, Juve is sooooo privileged...
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 12:37pm
Juventus are born lucky, they are owned by a very rich company every road is easier and shorter for them. Hopefuly every other Serie A club will have the possiblity to move on the same direction(owning a stadium).
on the 2nd October, 2012 at 10:50am

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