Italian football sinking like the Titanic – Tavecchio

FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio has expressed his worry that Italian football is at a risk of going under financially, revealing only five clubs in the country have successfully balanced their books.

Serie A outfit Parma were declared bankrupt earlier this year and sent down to Serie D to start over after the club failed to pay the players’ wages and endured repeated difficulties finding an owner who could clear their debt.

Their struggle has now prompted Tavecchio – who has already admitted his worry at the spending of sides such as AC Milan and Inter this summer – to announce serious measures to curb debt in an attempt to halt the country from continuing its downward spiral.

“The system is heading the same way as the Titanic. We can’t allow another case like Parma to happen,” the FIGC chief told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “We’ve checked all the balance sheets and there are even big clubs in difficulty.

“We’ve warned them that, from next season, certain boundaries will have to be respected or else they are out. If this rule was already in place this summer, only five clubs could be registered for the next Serie A season.

“We can’t resolve these problems instantly, but with a five-year plan we can cure Italian football and save it from bankruptcy.”

Tavecchio was elected to his position last August after promising to restructure the league system and has now announced his plans for wholesale change in order to streamline the order of competition.

“It is useless to have three leagues when two are enough,” he continued. “We need one top-flight with Serie A and a Lega Pro grouping the lower tiers together, with a clear objective to developing youngsters.

“We aim to bring Serie A down to 18 teams, with another two groups of 18 in Lega Pro.”