In recent days there has been an apparent change of gear. The brevity front, we define it for brevity, has changed the form of its interventions. From Minister Spadafora to the President of Coni Malagò. They softened the tones but in substance their doubts remained. And on the key point, that relating to the quarantine of the team in the case of a positive card, there has been no retreat by the Technical Scientific Committee. Bologna, to take the hottest example, should stop for 14 days at this point. And the stop would affect the championship.
Malagò is a person to listen carefully. Ten days ago he said: “The championship will resume 99%, but I don’t know if it will come to an end.” Malagò himself has a good game in remembering that in the Bundesliga the football system presented itself by the government with a turnkey project, without splits, with agreements on everything. They even recorded the Amazon news that will broadcast some Bundesliga games.
The same cannot be said of Italy, of the Italian football system. Clubs are only apparently on the same line. They voted compact in order not to lose the money from Sky (and from Dazn and Img) which are also at risk. But they are divided among themselves. Just like footballers. Who are frightened by the physical consequences and have not liked the opening of the FIGC to the clubs on the salary issue.
And then there’s the big TV rights issue. With the departure of the payment order to Sky, today is likely to be a day to be circled in red on the calendar. The day when a landslide can begin with unimaginable consequences. Because if the best prospect is that of a future reconciliation, there are also other scenarios to consider. Are we sure that Sky wants to continue being the main sponsor of Italian football? Sky is also struggling with an internal earthquake, as documented a few days ago by the newspaper. It is far from certain that the new owners of Comcast are interested in pursuing the current policy. The spending ceiling for Italian football could be reduced to half a billion.
Between today and tomorrow, the day of the Lega Serie A assembly, Italian football formalizes the fracture with Sky which has been its privileged partner for twenty years. Reducing this transition to a legal dispute like any other would sound decidedly superficial.
Club without money
All in a context in which the Serie A clubs, between sponsors and TV rights, have not seen a euro since February. Not all clubs have the strength of Napoli. There are clubs in great difficulty. Full of debts, which the players are unable to pay, and which have already been paid by the banks for the payment invoices that Sky has not yet paid and that currently does not want to pay. In short, failure is not such a distant landing. Genoa is certainly the city that risks paying the greatest consequences. But there are also other clubs, with a high-sounding blazon, which will rely on the American way of saying “too big to fail” which, however, did not apply to Lehman Brothers.
For all these reasons, it is simply unrealistic to compare Italian football to German football. With us, the horizon is decidedly gloomy. Future scenarios are unpredictable. And if something does not turn in the right direction, Italian football could find itself facing a crisis literally never experienced.
For now, we have limited ourselves to the dialectical battle, to the discussion on protocols. Now, however, we need to move from theory to practice. And it risks not being so easy.