Sunday August 28 2011
AIC and Lega debate strike on TV

AIC President Damiano Tommasi and Lega chief Maurizio Beretta held a live television debate on the Serie A strike.

The Players' Association (AIC) called the strike for this weekend after the union of 20 Serie A clubs (Lega) refused to sign a collective bargaining contract.

The sticking points were Article 4, as clubs wanted players to pay the full solidarity contribution for unemployed colleagues, and Article 7 that means all squads must train together even during contract disputes.

“The collective bargaining contract expired on June 30, 2010. Last year we reached a deal in December after months of negotiations and the strike was called off,” explained AIC President Tommasi on Sky Sport Italia.

“We played from December to May on faith that the contract would be ratified, just as the Lega had promised, but then they changed their minds. There have been no negotiations. The deal was done in December, forgotten in May and disappeared in August.”

Lega President Beretta also took part in the televised debate and painted a very different picture.

“The strike was decided by the AIC and only them. The Lega merely asked for an explicit pledge to pay the solidarity fee and a rule allowing Coaches to deal with large squads, organising training sessions based on priorities and not forcibly all together.

“The negotiations could've continued even without the strike and in this the Lega has no responsibility. The agreement worked out in December 2010 was a vague one and some details did not correspond with the wishes of the Lega.

“The 800 Serie A players who went on strike all have perfectly legal contracts and played on because they were under contract. Under these conditions, the strike was an enormous deal.”

Tommasi hit back by pointing out the debate over the solidarity payments only emerged over the last few days.

“We never said we wouldn't pay the solidarity fee and nobody complained. This is being used by the Lega to hide the real reason we went on strike. It's an attempt to win over the public by misinforming them.”

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