Wednesday August 24 2011
Players explain strike about 'dignity'

The FIGC will try to avoid a strike with Thursday's crisis talks, but players warn “we are defending our dignity and our professional rights.”

A strike could call off the opening weekend of the Serie A season after 18 of the 20 Serie A clubs voted against signing the collective bargaining contract proposed by the Players' Association (AIC).

The Federation has announced it will hold crisis talks on Thursday morning at 10.00 UK time in a bid to avoid strike action from the players.

Negotiations broke down primarily over Article 7, which forces clubs to allow all their players to train together, even those who won't play due to contract disputes.

“The President of the FIGC had urged clubs to show good common sense by interpreting Article 7 and explaining we have to guarantee the player has professional dignity. It is not an economic issue, but a professional one,” said Lazio defender Guglielmo Stendardo.

There is also Article 4, as clubs insist the solidarity fee paid to players who are out of contract must come only from the other players.

“When we started discussing the collective bargaining contract renewal, there was no talk about the solidarity fee. Signing the deal was only based on Article 7, which secures the right of every player to work in the same hours and the same venue as the rest of the squad.

“We must not allow players to be discriminated against or even blackmailed if they are not part of the club's plans. In my view, we could resolve the problem by limiting the squad to 25 players, like they do in Spain.”

The AIC had their version of the collective bargaining contract ready to be signed at the end of May, but only this afternoon have the Serie A sides voted on it.

“Players have been talking about this for a year,” continued Stendardo. “I hope people understand we do not want to transform anything, but merely protect our rights.

“The players remain firm, as we do not want to start the season without a collective bargaining contract.”

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