Serie A clubs reject proposal to become 18-team league

Serie A clubs reject proposal to become 18-team league

Faruq Ibrahim 18:49 - 13.02.2024

Serie A teams have voted against the proposal from the top four clubs to reduce the league's population from 20 to 18 teams.

In a decisive move that underscores the diversity of opinion within Italian football, Serie A clubs have collectively decided to maintain the league's current 20-team format. This decision emerged from a general assembly meeting of the league held on February 12, where a proposition to streamline the league to 18 teams was put to a vote. 

Despite the backing of Italian football giants—Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, and Roma—the proposal failed to secure the necessary majority, with only these four clubs in favour of the reduction.

Powerhouses Push for Change

The initiative, championed by four of Serie A's most influential clubs, aimed at reducing the league size to enhance the overall quality of matches and lessen the congested fixture schedule. 

However, the proposal needed a majority of 14 votes to pass, a threshold it significantly fell short of. Since its expansion in the 2004-05 season, Serie A has operated with 20 teams, a format that will continue following the recent vote.

Resistance and Reform

The attempt by the elite quartet to alter the league's structure has sparked criticism from other clubs. Torino's president, Urbino Cairo, openly criticised the proposal, likening it to a Super League ambition: “I think the attitude of [the clubs in question] was wrong. I would say what they wanted to do seemed like a super league.”

Serie A logo | 1000Logos
Serie A logo | 1000Logos

In contrast, France’s Ligue 1 successfully transitioned to an 18-team league this season, a move that received widespread support among its clubs back in 2021. 

Currently, among Europe’s top five leagues, only the German Bundesliga operates with 18 teams, while both England’s Premier League and Spain’s LaLiga feature 20 teams.

The meeting also saw the approval of a proposal for reforms aimed at granting Serie A more autonomy, akin to the model of the Premier League. These reforms are set to be presented at the Italian soccer federation’s extraordinary general assembly in March, as Serie A seeks to enhance its decision-making capabilities. 

Lorenzo Casini, Serie A president, emphasized the need for change: “Currently, the system does not give Serie A the autonomy and decision-making weight it should have with respect to economic weight.”

Meanwhile, in a significant development earlier this month, Serie A and Enilive, Eni's sustainable energy subsidiary, announced a new title sponsorship deal, marking a new chapter in the league's commercial partnerships.

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