Sep 21, 2010

Poor Richie Rich... Serie A Players Strike

By Bluenine

While I appreciate that with rich Serie A players it can be difficult to be taken seriously when talking of labour rights, their bold move is quite naive in respect to labour union practices. And how lame is it that they announced the strike before entering proper talks, not after they failed!!

Lets start with what this issue is all about. A collective contract between AIC (Italian Players’ Association) and Serie A which guaranteed player’s rights expired in the summer. During the negotiations, the disagreement between the two parties has reportedly been centered on a proposal put forward by club owners. A proposal which has caused the players to vote for a strike on 25/26th weekend, which includes a high profile clash between Roma vs Inter. The key points of this disagreement include:

1. Limiting the opportunities for players to refuse transfers in the final year of their contract
2. What percentage of the wages can be bound to club results
3. The right for players to perform other professional activities in their spare time
4. The right for clubs to issue rigid codes of conduit for the personal life of the athletes
5. Disputes about who pays the medical bills if the player opts not to be cured by the club med staff
6. The right for the club to segregate the squad in different groups for training

All quite valid issues, and I tend to lean on the side of the players on these arguements. If some of these proposals come into play, they would certainly harm the probability of Serie A both attracting and holding onto top players.

We’re workers like everybody else. Having high salaries doesn’t mean we should have fewer rights” - Massimo Oddo

No arguements there, Mr Oddo. I am all for labour strikes against discrimination... but multi-millionaires going on a pre-emptive strike borders on unprofessionalism, and sounds more like blackmail than a fight against discrimination. On these "bargaining methods" adpoted by "professional" players, I agree with the club presidents - this is immature & lacks professionalism. Sure, the issues AIC are raising are important, and need to be agreed with the Lega. But you cannot threaten to strike everytime things don't go your way, definately not before the negotiations fail. I hope the Lega calls their bluff. And if these players do go on strike (which is very unlikely), I hope the clubs severely punish them financially, and play with any unregistered players or something in those lines...

Players should have their rights. But they also have to be professional at all times. Its not easy, but they are paid well enough to expect professionalism.

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