Agreement set to bring end to Italy football strike
Italy's footballers are set to sign an agreement with club presidents on Monday that will end the current strike and allow the domestic season to start on September 9, a source close to the players' union (AIC) revealed on Saturday.
"The collective labour agreement between the players and Serie A will be signed on Monday morning or afternoon, there are just a few small technical matters left to be resolved," the anonymous source told Italian news agency Ansa.
The agreement is however only believed to be a temporary one that will allow football to be played while the different parties continue to discuss the terms of a new labour agreement.
There are two major sticking points to the new agreement, with the first relating to the payment of a solidarity tax and the second connected to the fate of players who are forced to train on their own when dropped from their club's squad.
On Friday, AIC president Damiano Tommasi said he was "moderately optimistic," with most observers in Italy beginning to believe that players and presidents were set to reach agreement.
The dispute has been ongoing since November last year, and the opening weekend of the season, due to be played on August 27 and 28, was postponed after the strike was called.
On Thursday, the clubs finally agreed a proposal by the players to sign the temporary agreement which will run through to June 30, 2012, and to give themselves 15 to 30 days to negotiate over article 7 relating to the conditions faced by players dropped from their club's squad.
The parties do appear to have reached a resolution on the payment of the solidarity tax, with the AIC agreeing that the players should pay it themselves.
However, no law as yet exists on the payment of the tax.
"The conditions that the AIC demanded in order to sign the agreement are now in place," assured the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in a statement on Friday, "so the league season should start next weekend."
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