NEWS
Wednesday August 24 2011
Clubs: 'Let the players strike'

Club chiefs at Juventus, Parma and Napoli are ready to force the players on strike. “We cannot continue with a gun pointed to our heads.”

The Lega Serie A, the union of clubs, today voted 18 to two against signing the collective bargaining contract. This is bound to prompt the Players' Association (AIC) to go on strike, halting the opening weekend of the season.

“Let them strike,” said Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis. “We cannot continue with a gun pointed at our heads.

“We're not trying to wage war on anyone. It's just a cultural problem, as the collective bargaining contract is out-dated by 30 years. There's no point renewing it when we have to revamp it.”

The FIGC has sided with the Players' Association and will hold crisis talks on Thursday morning in a bid to avert the strike.

“We need to wipe the slate clean,” continued De Laurentiis. “Although I respect FIGC President Giancarlo Abete, the Federation is a prehistoric animal that has to change attitude if it is to survive.”

Juventus also took a stand against the deal and the main sticking point is Article 7, which would stop clubs freezing players out of training with the full squad during contract disputes.

“The vote was practically unanimous,” revealed director general Beppe Marotta. “We acted with a sense of responsibility, even if the situation is embarrassing, and held firm in our decision.”

Parma director Pietro Leonardi blasted the Players' Association for their attitude.

“As far as we are concerned, the games go ahead, but you'd have to ask the players what they are doing. If they don't play, then who cares? They have the FIGC behind them, but mustn't take us for a ride.”

Only two Serie A sides voted in favour of signing the collective bargaining contract today, namely Siena and Cagliari.

“My colleagues were irresponsible,” slammed Cagliari President Massimo Cellino. “If the players were to go ahead and step on to the field, I would thank them, as it'd be a gesture of great responsibility.”

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES