Football all over the world is currently stopped due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight for this pandemic scenario. Japan, China and South Korea are expected to resume their football competitions at some point during May, but things are quite different if we analyze the scenario in Europe. There’s a realistic possibility of several countries not completing their 2019-20 seasons.
Out of the ones that have been affected the most, Italy are undoubtedly the most complicated one. Teams are cutting wages, players are threatening to leave next summer, and several clubs are going through several financial problems. The league has reportedly filed for bankruptcy, and teams such as Juventus and AS Roma are living situations that might not be sustainable over long periods of time.
The question, then, becomes rather obvious. What’s going to happen with the Italian Serie A? And what’s next for Italy’s top-flight if this situation continues for more than one or two more months?
What are possible solutions for Serie A’s economic problems?
Football in Italy is not going to disappear from one year to the next one. The league is also not likely to go into a hiatus period to “balance their books”, either. There are obligations to fulfill in the European scenario. Italy won’t give away their European spots, either, but drastic measures need to be taken. Things must change drastically in the country as a whole if they want to retain their top status following this outbreak.
Perhaps, teams would need to cut on the amount of money they’re currently paying in salaries. The transfer fees have already been declining over the last few years – with Inter and Juventus being the lone exceptions – but salaries might become an issue as well. If a team like Juventus is cutting four months of salaries, what’s going to happen with not-so-rich teams? What would be the scenario for teams such as SPAL, Sassuolo, or Brescia? They’re not as wealthy as Juventus, but they might need to take the same measures to avoid long-term financial problems.
Another idea could be to increase the league’s exposure. AC Milan, Inter and Juventus tend to play friendly matches in the United States and Asia. But what about the other teams? They could benefit from the substantial money bags offered in foreign countries as a way to bolster their budget moving forward.
The ideas are there, but the changes need to happen soon. Otherwise, the Serie A might need several years to recover from what has been a devastating period for football, Europe, and the whole world as we know it.