The Serie A season is coming to an end. While there are only five fixtures left, the title looks like it’ll end up in the hands of Juventus FC who are enjoying an eight point lead on the pursuing Roma side. Antonio Conte’s team will win a wonderful three-peat, and will also try to win the Europa League, a result that would slightly soften the blow of being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League last December.
The situation regarding the fight to avoid relegation, instead, is quite uncertain. There are five teams struggling in the lowest parts of the standings, with very few points dividing them, and making a prediction about how it’s going to end is difficult. What is not hard, instead, is to say that the amount of points needed to maintain the status of a Serie A team is going to be one of the lowest ever, maybe THE lowest ever. In fact, according to the actual pace kept by Livorno and Sassuolo, the two teams in the relegation positions, only twenty-nine points would be necessary to avoid relegation: a sum embarrassingly small. It’s probably going to increase during the next few weeks, but it’s easy to say that it will be, at most, two or three points more. Over the last few seasons, this threshold has always been higher than thirty-five points (except for the last one), so this is definitely one of the main signs of the downfall suffered by Serie A.
Since the triplete collected by Inter in 2010, no Italian team has reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League or Europa League. The state of the fighting to avoid relegation is indicative of how the whole Serie A has lost a lot of value in this past decade.
As a matter of fact, we could analyze the relegation fight in the Premier League, in La Liga and in Ligue 1 to see that the level of the competition in those leagues is much greater. Maybe only the Bundesliga has a similar situation. But really it’s the Serie A that is no longer as strong as it was before 2000, and in the first decade of 2000-2010.
Catania, Sassuolo, Livorno, Bologna and Chievo: three of those five teams will play in Serie B next year. Relegation is a tough blow for any club because it means less revenue from TV rights and less incomes from ticket sales and merchandising. In a league where the economic crisis has strongly hit even the major clubs, the loss of such important profits could even drive clubs to bankruptcy. So it’s a strange instance: avoiding relegation has never been easier in terms of points, but this is because the sides fighting for it have never been weaker. What is certain is that the three clubs that will not escape relegation are going to have a lot of regrets. Especially their chairmen.