An early May closed-doors restart is possible for Serie A but highly paid players may have to reconsider their contracts as clubs face financial damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora. Photo: Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP
An early May closed-doors restart is possible for Serie A but highly paid players may have to reconsider their contracts as clubs face financial damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora. Photo: Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP

Italy sports minister envisions league restart, backs salary cap

Time of article published Mar 19, 2020

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ROME - An early May closed-doors restart is possible for Serie A but highly paid players may have to reconsider their contracts as clubs face financial damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora.

"As of today, May 3 is a possible [restart] date, but I would not say it is certain, and it is hard to think that we could have games with open doors," Spadafora told broadcaster Rai 3 late Wednesday.

The Serie A played a round behind closed doors before being shut down from March 9 to April 3, along with all sporting activities, as the country went into lockdown until April 25.

Italy, the most affected European country, has tallied almost 3,000 deaths, with cases of infection approaching 36,000, including 13 Serie A players.

Spadafora also backed an early proposal from the Italian football federation (FIGC) to cut down big salaries.

"I fully agree with FIGC president Gabriele Gravina," the minister said. "(Discussing) footballers' salaries will not be a taboo matter. I would not even place it on the list of problems."

The footballers' union (AIC) said in reply to Gravina that it could consider renegotiating big contracts, given the impact of the crisis.

Lega Serie A and financial advisor Deloitte reportedly met on Wednesday and estimated club losses at 720 million euros (787 million dollars) should the season be cancelled, or about 170 million euros if it restarts.

dpa

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