Serie A opening weekend strike to go ahead
The opening weekend in Serie A has fallen victim to strike action by players after a last ditch bid on Friday to resolve a long running dispute with their clubs failed.
Players' union the AIC and clubs' union the LEGA are at odds over a new collective bargaining agreement after the last contract expired at the end of the 2010-11 season.
The strike was confirmed by players' union president Damiano Tommasi after the clubs rejected the AIC's proposal of the signing of a temporary deal until June, 2012.
"The LEGA hasn't accepted our proposal of a temporary deal, so in these conditions we are not going to play," Tommasi stated.
"I want to say to fans that this situation is embarrassing to us as well, our aim is not to not play but to start in the best conditions. Believe us, we tried everything," he added.
There are two barriers to a new deal in Italy, the main one concerns the 'solidarity tax' that players are required to pay.
Club owners want the players to pay the tax themselves, but while the players agree in principle, they do not want to be the only people in Italy to pay it and are asking for a new law to be created concerning the tax.
The players also say that players in the middle of contract disputes must not be made to train apart from the main squad and are opposed to plans to cancel the final years of the contracts of players embroiled in such disputes.
Club president Maurizio Beretta told Italian news agency ANSA: "Our members were very clear, we would sign a deal only if it included the two issues under discussion, that of the solidarity contribution and of players training apart from the squad."
Serie A is the second European league disrupted by industrial action this season after players in Spain's top two divisions went on strike last weekend.
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