The Italian Council of Ministers has made a huge shift that will impact Serie A and all Italian clubs. It is dreadful news for soccer in the country.

The motion would have provided fiscal discounts for athletes, especially foreign players, until February. However, the Council of Ministers voted this down. Because of this, Serie A clubs will miss out on the Growth Decree’s winter transfer window incentives.

The ruling might have far-reaching consequences for the Italian teams’ market value and the league’s competitiveness. As of Jan. 1, 2024, these clubs will not get any advantages about incoming operations or the salary of registered players anymore.

What is Growth Decree in Serie A

Clubs may save half of the tax on the salary of foreign players thanks to the Growth Decree, a financial incentive. Being able to compete with wages provided in England and Spain has become simpler as a result.

Extending it until February’s end, or the whole of the January transfer window, was the original plan. Nevertheless, according to a report from ANSA, the Italian government refused to extend it past Dec. 31.

Instead of $2.2 million, Serie A clubs would have to pay $1.6 million in gross wages to players from abroad. Because of this, teams recruited players whose salaries exceeded what clubs could actually spend.

The Italian government has been keen to do away with the Growth Decree altogether. Its cancelation and usage have been the center of talks for months.

After the Growth Decree ends, several clubs feel their transfer plans suffer. Contrarily, some believe that these incentives will just lead to an increase in investing in Italian talent. These players will be far less expensive compared to foreign players.

Threats to the Italian top flight

The clubs say they would be financially unable to recruit elite international players in the absence of the Growth Decree.

Due to this, the league’s standard will decline and the teams’ ability to compete on a global and European scale will fall. This would have a devastating effect on the financial and public profile of Italian soccer.

Thus, the Lega Serie A is pleading with the government to reconsider repealing the Growth Decree because of the catastrophic outcomes that would follow.

“The Lega Serie A notes with shock and worry the media rumors around a decision the cabinet of ministers has seemingly taken not to approve any extension of the special fiscal regime for sporting figures moving to Italy.

“Such a decision, if confirmed, will have as its only result one diametrically opposed to what has been sought.

“The lack of an extension, as we illustrated clearly and in detail in a note sent to the Government over the last few days, will make the clubs less competitive, consequently reducing the revenue, with fewer resources to invest in youth academies and consequently also less money going to the treasury.

“Seeing as the proposal to extend had been given the all-clear before being presented to the meeting of ministers, the fact that it was in the end left out makes us assume that once again a distorted view of football influenced by fallacious cliches has taken hold.

“It is a vision that unfortunately does not take into account the extraordinary economic, as well as social and cultural, role that our industry represents in Italy”, they said in a statement.