Players’ Union calls off Serie A strike

Rome: The Italian Footballer’s Union (Aic) has officially called off this weekend’s proposed strike by Serie A players over a collective contract.

In a statement on their website, Aic president Sergio Campana praised players for sticking to their guns in the protracted negotiations.

“The Aic thanks the players who showed total participation, togetherness (and) a high sense of responsability in defending their professional dignity and the fundamental rights of all workers,” said the statement.

“Taking into account the good progress in drafting a new collective agreement with the mediation of Italian Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete and having listened to the club representatives, the Aic revokes the protest action and communicates that Serie A players will play in the league programme scheduled for December 11 and 12.”

Serie A players and clubs were at odds over a proposed collective agreement that would give clubs the power to force players to accept a transfer in the final year of their contracts.

The contract itself has not yet been signed but an agreement has apparently been reached and will probably be ratified next week.

“There will be the Football League Assembly on Monday and we will then bring the definitive text of the new contract,” said League president Maurizio Beretta.

Federation vice-president Demetrio Albertini, a former AC Milan and Italy midfielder, said all but the final details had been agreed.

“There is the political desire to end this. Abete spoke with the representatives of the two parties, Campana for the Aic and Beretta for the league. There’s still a few details to complete but we’re very close,” he said.

Earlier Juventus’s lawyer Michele Briamonte, who was representing the Italian Football League in negotiations with the Players’ Union, had already claimed the strike was unlikely to go ahead.

Called together by Abete, the different parties had been meeting this week to try to find common ground in the collective contract deal to stave off the possibility of a player strike.

Speaking earlier on Thursday, Briamonte had said that the strike was as good as off.

“The text of the new collective agreement is practically written, there only remain a few details,” he said.

“Agreement between the parties had already been reached on Tuesday.”

Asked directly by reporters if the strike was off, he said: “Yes, definitely. I’d be stunned if it wasn’t the case.”

Last week the Players’ Union had announced that Serie A footballers would strike this weekend as no consensus had been reached after three months of negotiations since the previous deal expired at the end of last season.

Bureau Report

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