Saturday March 29 2014
Fans and Lega threaten action

The Lega Serie A warned of repercussions if fans continue to threaten clubs, but the union of ultras said they will sue.

There are several clubs who have been dealing with organised ultras boycotts for some time, including Lazio and Bologna.

This week the Lega Serie A – effectively the union of top flight clubs – released a statement noting there was a “serious violation of rights” by the attempts to damage clubs, teams and players.

These actions include boycotting the games or purposefully getting the club fined with offensive banners and chants.

“Even more serious is the damage to the image of Italian football, the clubs and the cities caused by orchestrated chanting of insults and intimidation.”

The statement urged “every component of the football world to operate in respect of civil co-operation. The Lega will intervene to actively defend the prestige of national football, its clubs, its directors and the healthy element of the fans.”

The Federsupporter – a union that looks after the interests of small shareholders in clubs – responded with its own very long and critical statement.

“The football system is delegitimized by those who represent it. Those were the words of sport’s number one figure in Italy, the CONI President Giovanni Malagò. It seems appropriate in the light of the very serious, inconceivable and inadmissible statement released by the Lega Serie A.”

The note pointed out that fans are the main financers of football clubs by purchasing tickets, merchandising and pay-tv deals, while some are literally shareholders.

It accused “bosses and tyrants” of controlling the Lega Serie A, which was “out of control” and should be reined in by the FIGC.

“The Lega Calcio di Serie A is in the delirious belief of its own omnipotence and autoreferentiality, forgetting that this is still a democratic country and that the Constitution recognises and guarantees all citizens the right to manifest freedom of speech.

“It is puerile and even grotesque to catalogue fans as ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ as if we were still in school. This unfortunate statement cannot be allowed to pass without an adequate response and reaction.

“Therefore, in order to protect the rights of the supporters, Federsupporter have already sent their lawyers to evaluate the possibility of legal action – nothing excluded – in every arena.”