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Serie A challengers stumble after decisive day of play

Serie A challengers stumble after decisive day of play

25/06/2020, Italy, Multi Sports, Italy Publications, Article # 29923398
Atalanta celebrate. PHOTO CREDIT: Newsreaderboard

BERGAMO – In pole position, Juventus watched on as challengers Intern Milan drew and dark horse Lazio lost on Wednesday, with Lazio falling short against Atalanta in a breath-taking 3-2 defeat in their first game after the lengthy pause in the Serie A due to the coronavirus lockdown.

  In the first half Lazio played precision football, with talismanic striker Simone Inzaghi in terrific form. However, after taking an early 2-0 lead through an own goal from Atalanta a Lazio wonder goal from outside the box, they squandered several chances to go 3-0 up, and left Atalanta with a chance of a deadly second wave comeback.

  A header from Robin Gosesns, a scorcher from Ruslan Malinovskiy, and another header from José Luis Palomino, bore the fruits of a colossal Atlanta comeback.

  Only four points off Juventus and with 11 remaining games to play, Lazio still have time to recover from the setback.

  By comparison, Inter Milan threw away their lead with a stodgy display, falling short in a shock 3-3 draw with Sassuolo, who scored late on in the final minute of the match with a scrappy goal from substitute Giangiacomo Magnani.

  In a back and forth match, Sassuolo had taken an early lead through Francesco Caputo. Inter then took the lead through a Lukaku penalty and a goal from Christiano Biragi after a neat period of play just before half time. An Inter goal and a Sassuolo penalty levelled the scores again late in the final minutes.

  Inter are now eight points from the top of the table. Inter Milan Manager, Antonio Conte, spoke to reporters after the match, and said: “I think we deserved much more considering how much we created.”

  The match reflects Inter Milan’s error strewn season, wasteful in front of goal and prone to lapses in concentration in defence, traits which have led to their elimination from the Champions League and the Italian Cup, and now possibly their Serie A chances too.

jmj



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Alex Zanardi crash leaves Italy's champion in coma

Alex Zanardi crash leaves Italy's champion in coma

22/06/2020, Italy, Multi Sports, Italy Publications, Article # 29919449
PHOTO CREDIT: THE DRIVE

SIENA – Alex Zanardi, the Italian paralympic champion and ex professional race car driver, has spent a third night in hospital in a medically induced coma after a devastating accident in Pienza for which he required neurosurgery, reports Il Fatto Quotidiano. An investigation into the collision is underway, and disconfirms the hypothesis that Zanardi had been on his phone at the time of the accident. Zanardi’s helmet is said to have slipped off in the collision, and he beat his head violently against the metal over the mudguard and then the asphalt, reports Il Messaggero.

  On Friday, Zanardi, 53, crashed into a truck while he was racing at the Obiettivo Tricolore relay, and was helicoptered to Sienese university hospital, where his “neurological condition remains serious," according to the hospital bulletin as quoted in Il Sole 24 Ore.

  The truck driver is one Marco Ciacci, 44, and he was driving slowly and in his lane at the time. Carabinieri investigators, led by Major Roberto Vergato, aim to shed light as to why Zanardi lost control, reports Il Fatto Quotidiano.

  In an interview with Corriere Della Sera, journalist Maestrini recounted that the racers were preceded by a local police car, but that this was not enough to prevent a collision with the oncoming vehicle, after which the bike overturned on the left side and Maestrini heard Zanardi screaming in pain.

  Zanardi briefly competed in Formula One, claiming two championships for IndyCar and NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi, and also had 15 victories in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series. Zanardi lost both his legs in a crash in 2001 while competing at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz in Germany, reports autoweekly. 

  The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, tweeted in support: “you never gave up and with your extraordinary strength of mind you have overcome a thousand difficulties. Come on Alex Zanardi, do not give up.”

jmj



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WHO deputy director brands Naples celebrations 'wretched'

WHO deputy director brands Naples celebrations 'wretched'

19/06/2020, Italy, Multi Sports, Italy Publications, Article # 29916255
PHOTO CREDIT: salernonotizie

NAPLES – A World Health Organisation (WHO) representative spoke out against the thousands of people on the street of the Campania capital during the coronavirus crisis, as they celebrated the Azzurri victory over Juventus to claim the Italian Cup, with the pictures shown on Italian television. Ranieri Guerra, deputy director of the WHO, said in a radio interview that “at this moment we cannot afford it, luckily it happened in Naples, where governor and mayor have implemented rigid measures and the incidence of the virus is lower than elsewhere,” as quoted from Il Messaggero.

  “I am happy for Gattuso and for Naples but something did not work,” commented the leader of the League and ex Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, as quoted in Il Messaggero.

  The mayor of Naples, Luigi De Magistris, said that on “Wednesday evening the contagion of happiness won,” in the aftermath of the celebrations in which people were filmed embraced each other in tightly packed streets.

  Italian journalist and director of the La7 news, Enrico Mentana, responded to the comments of the WHO assistant director and the mayor of Naples, by taking the side of those who wanted to celebrate. Although gatherings were risky, Mentana said that he too would have gone out to celebrate if he had been a Napoli fan, and that "football without celebration is a Playstation game," as quoted in Corriere Della Sera.

jmj



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Juventus beaten on penalties as Azzuri take Coppa Italia

Juventus beaten on penalties as Azzuri take Coppa Italia

18/06/2020, Italy, Multi Sports, Italy Publications, Article # 29914920
PHOTO CREDIT: OfficialSSCNapili Twitter

ROME – Napoli earned a first major trophy in six seasons after beating a subdued Juventus 4-2 on penalties in the Coppa Italia final, after a goalless 90 minute tussle in the empty Sadio Olimpico. It was Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso’s first trophy, and was also the first to be claimed following the coronavirus pandemic. In Naples, there were fireworks and singing in the streets in celebration.

  The first half saw two early chances from both teams, with Juve superstar Ronaldo having a low strike saved, and with Napoli’s Insieme curling a dangerous free kick which hit the woodwork from outside the box. Both sides had spells of sustained pressure, but the half ended goalless. 

  A cagey second half meant both sides took more long shots in an effort to break the deadlock. The closest effort arrived in extra time through Nikola Maksimović, whose header from a corner was low and hard but saved off the line by Juve keeper Buffon, then spilled, and then slammed off the woodwork from point blank range from Elif Elmas

  After a turgid 90 minutes were up, the Coppa Italia final went straight to penalties, avoiding the usual extra time, eliminated in order to reduce the minutes the teams had to play in view of the extraordinary circumstances, reports Il Post.

  Paulo Dybala took Juve’s first, which was saved, before next up Danilo Luiz da Silva blazed his high over the bar, two errors that cost Juve the match, as Napoli dispatched their penalties and Arkadiusz Milik scored the winning spot-kick.

  “It was a well-deserved cup,” said Gioia Meret, the Napoli keeper. “I am proud to be part of this group." Meret also paid tribute to Gianluigi Buffon, Juve’s veteran keeper whose performance kept them in the race.

  This was the third time the Azzurri have won a final at the Olimpico, after triumphing in 2012 against Juventus, and in 2014 against Fiorentina, reports La Repubblica.

jmj



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Interview: Dr. Ciccioli on Serie A’s uncertain future

Interview: Dr. Ciccioli on Serie A’s uncertain future

11/06/2020, Italy, Multi Sports, Italy Publications, Article # 29908429
Photo credit: insidersport

ROME – The Italian Insider interviewed Roberto Ciccioli, Head of Tax and Advisory Services at the ‘Consulting Centre’, a firm that plays a key role in supporting football players and clubs in tax, legal, and corporate finance, and which is working on an Italian football club data project.

 

II: Serie A starts again on June 20, with the permission of Italian Minister of Sport, Vincenzo Spadafora. The aim is to finish the season by Aug. 31. If coronavirus makes this impossible, there are two contingency plans: first to settle the championship with play-offs, and finally to freeze the table as it stands as a last resort. Is this plausible? Are these options financially risky?

Roberto Ciccioli: Coronavirus has made the whole economic system vulnerable, but football has been greatly impacted and will be affected by games played behind closed doors. The players, especially those in the lower leagues, did not receive their salaries as the clubs did not receive revenues from television rights, merchandising, and ticket-sales.

  In this context, the FIGC and the Football League had tried to find an economically advantageous solution that will not endanger the health of the players and all those who work in the world of football. To this end, three scenarios have been validated by the FIGC. Two of them represent extreme solutions whose sole purpose is to avoid significant economic impacts.

  It is clear that any club not admitted to the next Champions League will experience a negative impact on their revenues. It is also clear that the damage derived from coronavirus has an impact on lower revenues in terms of sponsorship, ticketing, and television rights. The last item represents a significant percentage of the total revenues of each club. The resumption of Serie A, in my opinion, depended on television rights.

 

II: The collapse of Serie A revenue in the short-term could be over 700 million euros, and already more than 500 million euros has been lost to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. How serious is this for Serie A’s future? Is Serie A invincible? Will there always be a Serie A? 

RC: The coronavirus emergency has had a devastating impact, especially for the minor leagues.

  If one considers, for example, that one revenue stream for a football club is ticketing, then it is easy to understand the negative impact that the coronavirus has on the club accounts with matches without fans and with closed doors. Furthermore, the emergence from coronavirus could have a negative impact on contracts entered into for television rights and sponsorships, if they contain force majeure clauses that lead to the suspension of the contract for modification. Even in the absence of force majeure clauses, however, clubs may have lower revenues because of the sponsorship and media rights contracts, if the temporary inability to cover their contracts leads to reductions in revenue.

  The reduction in revenues for football teams will certainly be important. However, I believe that Italian football after a phase of cost containment due to the financial impact of coronavirus will resume on a path which today makes it one of the 10 main Italian economic sectors with an aggregate turnover of around five billion euros.

 

II: But what about the fans? Doesn’t Serie A need to present a likeable public face? Even if Serie A risks losing a lot of money in the short-term, if they go back too soon and the contagion spreads it could be a PR disaster in the long-term.

RC: I believe that at this specific moment it is necessary to combine the health aspect with the economic aspect.

  By evaluating and verifying the balance sheets of football clubs, the economic impact of the revenues deriving from ticketing is far less than that derived from television rights, sponsorships, and advertisements. Therefore, although watching games without fans will make the event less spectacular, I believe that the current solution is the right way to ensure the economic sustainability of the sector and avoid a new explosion of the epidemic.

 

II: What about the effect on the football transfer market. Is there anything interesting you have seen in this area since the start of the pandemic? What has happened to the value of players? Will COVID-19 change the value of players in the long term? 

RC: Although the clubs continue to scout, it is clear that during the lockdown the transfer market suffered a drastic freeze. Certainly, the next transfer window will be more complicated than the others due to the reduced budgets. I believe there will be limited transfer of players in terms of amounts, with a particular preference for loans and transfers of free players. Nobody, at the moment, I believe, is able to predict exactly the impact of the coronavirus on the values of the players as they do not depend on the single market, but on the future performance of European football in particular.

 

II: Do Serie A clubs spend more than they earn on wages? With so much money at stake during the summer, and with Serie A financial expenses on player-wages really high, do players need to take wage cuts? 

RC: Not all Serie A clubs spend more than they earn. With the advent of financial fair play, there has been a general focus on financial statements and sustainability of the costs in order to make them compatible with expected revenues. The coronavirus will surely widen the divergences between financially stable and unstable clubs; and these effects will materialize in the coming months, probably also through takeover or sales to foreign investors.

  During the lockdown most players suffered wages cuts or did not receive them by mutual agreement with the clubs. However, nothing suggests non-compliance with contractual agreements by the clubs with the players. If the economic situation does not improve, players' salaries may realistically suffer reductions following agreements between the players themselves and the clubs.

 

II: If there are serious Serie A financial problems with player wages, could players leave en mass? Could we see superstars leave for other leagues? Which leagues?

RC: At the moment, this doesn’t seem realistic. The football system remains an important part of the Italian economic system and the Italian government will support it. In recent years, the government issued laws that have had positive impacts on the costs incurred by clubs and on the taxation of players' foreign incomes allowing the arrival of superstars from foreign leagues. This should be the path followed for the next few years and which should allow the continuation of the growth of the Serie A in particular in terms of aggregate revenues and appeal for top players.

 

II: Finally, broadcasting rights during coronavirus. Serie A have filed an injunction against Sky-Italia which owes them 233 million euros. What are the legal arguments for this dispute, and how will it be settled?

RC: When there are contracts involving significant amounts, usually in cases like these legal procedures are often used to crystallize a situation that must be resolved. The current contract between Serie A and broadcasters refers to the 2018-2021 period and I think that no party wants to have to look for a new partner. I believe it is very probable that the parties will eventually find an agreement on a reduction in the amounts owed by broadcasters.

jmj

 

 

r.ciccioli@consultingcentre.it

www.consultingcentre.it

 

Roberto Ciccioli


http://www.italianinsider.it/?q=node/9275
Interview: Dr. Ciccioli’s assessment of Serie A’s future

Interview: Dr. Ciccioli’s assessment of Serie A’s future

11/06/2020, Italy, Multi Sports, Italy Publications, Article # 29907356
Photo credit: insidersport

ROME – The Italian Insider interviewed Roberto Ciccioli, Head of Tax and Advisory Services at the ‘Consulting Centre’, a firm that plays a key role in supporting football players and clubs in tax, legal, and corporate finance, and which is working on an Italian football club data project.

 

II: Serie A starts again on June 20, with the permission of Italian Minister of Sport, Vincenzo Spadafora. The aim is to finish the season by Aug. 31. If coronavirus makes this impossible, there are two contingency plans: first to settle the championship with play-offs, and finally to freeze the table as it stands as a last resort. Is this plausible? Are these options financially risky?

Roberto Ciccioli: Coronavirus has made the whole economic system vulnerable, but football has been greatly impacted and will be affected by games played behind closed doors. The players, especially those in the lower leagues, did not receive their salaries as the clubs did not receive revenues from television rights, merchandising, and ticket-sales.

  In this context, the FIGC and the Football League had tried to find an economically advantageous solution that will not endanger the health of the players and all those who work in the world of football. To this end, three scenarios have been validated by the FIGC. Two of them represent extreme solutions whose sole purpose is to avoid significant economic impacts.

  It is clear that any club not admitted to the next Champions League will experience a negative impact on their revenues. It is also clear that the damage derived from coronavirus has an impact on lower revenues in terms of sponsorship, ticketing, and television rights. The last item represents a significant percentage of the total revenues of each club. The resumption of Serie A, in my opinion, depended on television rights.

 

II: The collapse of Serie A revenue in the short-term could be over 700 million euros, and already more than 500 million euros has been lost to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. How serious is this for Serie A’s future? Is Serie A invincible? Will there always be a Serie A? 

RC: The coronavirus emergency has had a devastating impact, especially for the minor leagues.

  If one considers, for example, that one revenue stream for a football club is ticketing, then it is easy to understand the negative impact that the coronavirus has on the club accounts with matches without fans and with closed doors. Furthermore, the emergence from coronavirus could have a negative impact on contracts entered into for television rights and sponsorships, if they contain force majeure clauses that lead to the suspension of the contract for modification. Even in the absence of force majeure clauses, however, clubs may have lower revenues because of the sponsorship and media rights contracts, if the temporary inability to cover their contracts leads to reductions in revenue.

  The reduction in revenues for football teams will certainly be important. However, I believe that Italian football after a phase of cost containment due to the financial impact of coronavirus will resume on a path which today makes it one of the 10 main Italian economic sectors with an aggregate turnover of around five billion euros.

 

II: But what about the fans? Doesn’t Serie A need to present a likeable public face? Even if Serie A risks losing a lot of money in the short-term, if they go back too soon and the contagion spreads it could be a PR disaster in the long-term.

RC: I believe that at this specific moment it is necessary to combine the health aspect with the economic aspect.

  By evaluating and verifying the balance sheets of football clubs, the economic impact of the revenues deriving from ticketing is far less than that derived from television rights, sponsorships, and advertisements. Therefore, although watching games without fans will make the event less spectacular, I believe that the current solution is the right way to ensure the economic sustainability of the sector and avoid a new explosion of the epidemic.

 

II: What about the effect on the football transfer market. Is there anything interesting you have seen in this area since the start of the pandemic? What has happened to the value of players? Will COVID-19 change the value of players in the long term? 

RC: Although the clubs continue to scout, it is clear that during the lockdown the transfer market suffered a drastic freeze. Certainly, the next transfer window will be more complicated than the others due to the reduced budgets. I believe there will be limited transfer of players in terms of amounts, with a particular preference for loans and transfers of free players. Nobody, at the moment, I believe, is able to predict exactly the impact of the coronavirus on the values of the players as they do not depend on the single market, but on the future performance of European football in particular.

 

II: Do Serie A clubs spend more than they earn on wages? With so much money at stake during the summer, and with Serie A financial expenses on player-wages really high, do players need to take wage cuts? 

RC: Not all Serie A clubs spend more than they earn. With the advent of financial fair play, there has been a general focus on financial statements and sustainability of the costs in order to make them compatible with expected revenues. The coronavirus will surely widen the divergences between financially stable and unstable clubs; and these effects will materialize in the coming months, probably also through takeover or sales to foreign investors.

  During the lockdown most players suffered wages cuts or did not receive them by mutual agreement with the clubs. However, nothing suggests non-compliance with contractual agreements by the clubs with the players. If the economic situation does not improve, players' salaries may realistically suffer reductions following agreements between the players themselves and the clubs.

 

II: If there are serious Serie A financial problems with player wages, could players leave en mass? Could we see superstars leave for other leagues? Which leagues?

RC: At the moment, this doesn’t seem realistic. The football system remains an important part of the Italian economic system and the Italian government will support it. In recent years, the government issued laws that have had positive impacts on the costs incurred by clubs and on the taxation of players' foreign incomes allowing the arrival of superstars from foreign leagues. This should be the path followed for the next few years and which should allow the continuation of the growth of the Serie A in particular in terms of aggregate revenues and appeal for top players.

 

II: Finally, broadcasting rights during coronavirus. Serie A have filed an injunction against Sky-Italia which owes them 233 million euros. What are the legal arguments for this dispute, and how will it be settled?

RC: When there are contracts involving significant amounts, usually in cases like these legal procedures are often used to crystallize a situation that must be resolved. The current contract between Serie A and broadcasters refers to the 2018-2021 period and I think that no party wants to have to look for a new partner. I believe it is very probable that the parties will eventually find an agreement on a reduction in the amounts owed by broadcasters.

jmj

 

 

r.ciccioli@consultingcentre.it

www.consultingcentre.it

 

Roberto Ciccioli


http://www.italianinsider.it/?q=node/9275
Serie A Presidential election had ‘multiple irregularities’

Serie A Presidential election had ‘multiple irregularities’

01/06/2020, Italy, Multi Sports, Italy Publications, Article # 29896878
Gaetano Micciché. PHOTO CREDIT: TELLERREPORT

MILAN – The president of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), Giovanni Malagò, is under investigation after prosecutors alleged that the minutes taken at an assembly he chaired were falsified and led to the election of Gaetano Micciché as president of Serie A, according to judicial sources. Micciché already resigned from his position as Serie A president in November 2019 after complaints about his appointment, but, on Friday, prosecutors Paolo Filippini and Giovanni Polizzi asked the notary Guiseppe Calafiori to reveal the secret ballot votes cast in 2018, reports Corriere Della Sera.

  The March 2018 assembly had modified a statute providing for unanimity during elections, which made it possible to circumvent potential conflicts of interest, especially favouring candidates who hold positions in private institutions that already have relationships with Serie A teams and groups, as explained in Corriere Della Sera.

  Normally 14 votes would be enough to elect someone as the next president, but in this case unanimity was required, benefitting Micciche who was on the board of RCS Mediagroup and president of Banca IMI, reports Calico Finanzia.

  In audio released by Business Insider, Rome CEO Mauro Baldissoni can be heard at the assembly inviting everyone present at the vote to “renounce the secret ballot," but on casting the votes, Giovanni Malagò asks if anyone is against voting for Micciché, calling it “common sense,” which ellicted cries of “Micchice!”, after which that acclamation was considered proof enough of his victory, and the ballot wasn’t opened, reports Il Fatto Quotidiano.

  Malagò, asked by the Corriere about his registration in the register of suspects, says he was "calm" and claims that everything is done in "maximum transparency." At present there are no suspects, but the Guardia di Finanza has acquired the ballot box with the votes of the 20 companies present, according to La Repubblica.

jmj



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