Serie A chief Paolo Dal Pino has hit back at sports minster Vincenzo Spadafora after he accused the league of not doing enough to support grassroots football.
Spadafora warned Serie A clubs were “living in a bubble” and that “serious” changes would follow the coronavirus pandemic, but Dal Pino was left unimpressed by the politician’s remarks.
“With reference to today’s statements by the Minister of Sport Spadafora, I don’t think it’s the time to be stirring controversy and demagoguery,” he told Serie A’s official website.
“The numbers speak for themselves and there’s no need to add anything else to highlight the role of Lega Serie A in supporting grassroots football and, indirectly, all Italian sport.
Serie A also posted a statement supporting Dal Pino’s argument.
“In Italy, over 32m fans follow football, a social and economic phenomenon that employs more than 300,000 people, generating 1 percent of the national GDP..
“Serie A has always played a recognised role as the locomotive of the sector, directly producing about €3bn of total revenues every year and generating a turnover of €8bn for the benefit of the entire football pyramid, in addition to a tax and social-security contribution of €1bn.
“Over the years, the contribution and solidarity amount from Serie A, for the development of systems, for the enhancement of youth sectors and to support sports other than football, has always grown: from the €93m that Lega Serie A spent in the first year of its foundation in 2010 to the over-€130m that will be paid out at the end of the current season.
“These are big figures, on which the entire supply chain is based, that Lega Serie A hopes to continue delivering to safeguard the whole Italian football movement.”
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