Serie A teams recently had a chance to reduce their total number of teams from 20 to 18. Officials from each outfit met to discuss the potential move at a Serie A shareholders’ meeting in Milan on Monday. However, just four clubs voted to make the change during the discussions. As a result, the league will remain with 20 teams for the foreseeable future.
Italian reports claim that AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, and AS Roma were the quartet to vote for the changes. The big clubs wanted to reduce the league by a few spots in part to ease fixture congestion. With 20 teams in the division, 380 play out each season.
Milan executive says 18 teams in Serie A would help fixture congestion
Dropping down to 18 clubs, as seen in the German Bundesliga, would reduce the number of games each season to 306. AC Milan President Paolo Scaroni was adamant about reducing the total fixtures for teams regularly in European competitions.
“In reality, clubs like us who play international competitions and who have many players called up by the national teams complain about too many matches,” stated Scaroni.
“The players play the continental tournaments, their national team matches, the Italian Cup and the league. All this leads to a load of matches that becomes unbearable and which is the cause of many injuries.”
Fixture congestion has become a real concern for players and coaches from all over the world. French forward Kylian Mbappe recently claimed that players may soon adopt a load management technique currently used by NBA stars. Top basketball players regularly miss games solely due to the need for extra rest.
The four Italian clubs also thought the potential move would improve the overall quality of the league as well. Nevertheless, the referendum failed as it needed a majority of 14 votes to pass.
Torino president says quartet wanted to create ‘mini super league’
Although the big clubs could not get enough votes to make the change, other Serie A teams have criticized the attempt. Torino president Urbano Cairo has claimed that these teams were taking a page out of the failed European Super League.
“What they wanted to do was a mini super league,” Cairo told reporters after Monday’s meeting.
“Today’s meeting confirmed that a vast majority of clubs want to keep 20 teams even because the other leading European leagues, including the Spanish and English one also have 20.”
Cairo also added that the meeting was “friendly,” but the other Serie A teams to resist the change were unwavering in their position. “That meeting was not seen well by other clubs,” continued Cairo. “The timing was entirely wrong. We are not divided, but they had a wrong attitude and I think they lacked mutual respect.”
The Serie A previously expanded from 18 to 20 teams ahead of the 2004/05 season. Along with adding two teams, the Italian top flight also dropped a relegation place as well. Before 2004, the league had 18 clubs. Four teams dropped to Serie B each season.
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