A Serie A strike is increasingly likely after the AIC abandoned a meeting with the Lega, but in a curious twist the players are against their own union.
There were reassuring voices coming from the players over the last few days, most notably representative Massimo Oddo, who said a meeting with the Lega found them open to their demands.
However, yesterday the AIC (Players' Association) refused to attend a planned summit with the Lega over the renewal of a collective bargaining contract, making it more likely there will be a strike in mid-November.
“There are 10 to 12 days for us to find a solution or I will be forced to nominate an administrator,” warned FIGC President Giancarlo Abete.
Lega President Maurizio Beretta, who represents the union of all Serie A clubs, has proposed a three-way meeting with the AIC and the FIGC.
There are two issues that are still up for debate, as players want more flexibility in their choice to move clubs and demand regular training even for those who have been frozen out of the squad.
“The Lega Calcio was disconcerted by the behaviour of the AIC, who decided to abandon the meeting,” pointed out Lega chief Beretta.
“We consider it to be a serious snub. We are not ready to accept tactical moves aimed at sabotaging the agreement. We're ready to negotiate around a table tonight.”
The confusing element is in the AIC, as the players appear to be in direct confrontation with their own union.
“There has been a serious breakdown,” continued Beretta. “Oddo has been acting as spokesman for the Serie A players throughout this process and first launched the idea of the strike before the negotiations even began.
“Yet Oddo now says there is everything needed to reach an agreement and avoid the strike. The worst way to negotiate is to abandon the table and refuse a meeting.
“We were here at the FIGC headquarters at the agreed time and place, ready to talk things over. We maintain a responsible attitude aimed at finding a path for the good of football.
“Talking about a strike is irresponsible and incomprehensible, far more so than two months ago. It is the worst approach and won't lead us anywhere.”