Report: Serie A facing €720m bill if it does not finish season

Report: Serie A facing €720m bill if it does not finish season
Serie A, Italy’s top-flight soccer league, has been told by financial services company Deloitte that it is facing losses of up to €720 million (US$772 million) if it is unable to complete the season because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Gazetta dello Sport.

However, according to the report, should Serie A be able to complete the season Deloitte says losses would stand at a more manageable €170 million (US$182 million).

The Serie A clubs have reportedly been presenting options to league officials as they seek to manage the financial burden without relying on the government. Suggestions reportedly include alterations to new stadium regulations, streamlining bureaucracy and revising the ban on commercial partnerships with the betting industry. According to Gazetta, the proposals will now be formulated officially by Serie A chief executive Luigi De Siervo before being brought to the government.

There is hope that despite the desperate situation in Italy, which has now passed China as the country with the highest death toll as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, that Serie A can resume. The Italian sports minister, Vincenzo Spadafora, has suggested that the league is aiming to return in May.

Speaking on national TV, Spadafora explained the updated plan, including a late decision on whether or not games would be played behind closed doors, depending on the situation at the time.

“I believe that Serie A can return on 3rd May,” he said. “Then we will evaluate whether it’s played behind closed doors, or open to the public.

“This formula will then be added to international competitions, like the Champions League and Europa League.”

Spadafora also confirmed that clubs will be exempt from having to make payments to the government for the coming period, to ease the worries of cashflow after matches were postponed.

“We have suspended all tax obligations until 30th May for all sports federations and for all other sports activities.

“We have suspended the rents of all state-owned structures and we have provided a one-off payment of €600 for tens of thousands of sports collaborators all around Italy and who work in small Italian companies.”

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