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Fans Suffer As Players Down Tools
Footytubeblog (Blog) 5 years ago
Although Serie A is now up and running, the recent player strikes in Italy represented more than just a weekend of football off for players and clubs.

The players union, the AIC, were concerned about clubs trying to move players on during the last year of the contract by making them train away from the rest of the first team squad. The clubs were also unhappy at the players avoiding a new tax in Italy meant to be paid by high earners.

For the smaller teams and their players, these strikes were more understandable. However, on the face of it, it just looks as if players are being greedy to squeeze more money out of their clubs and the league. The tag of mercenary which is applied to footballers will stick a little firmer.

This was an affirmation and a warning to other leagues that the players and their agents hold the powers. After all Spain’s La Liga had its striking problems only the week before. The fact there actually was a strike is encouraging in another manner though. Clubs are not prepared to bow down completely to the demands of their players. In a time when wages are spiralling out of control, the clubs stand may be too late to have any lasting impact on European football.

It’s no secret that Italy isn’t finding it easy with the world financial crisis with soaring levels of unemployment. On the one hand, there is the view that this makes what the players have done is even more inappropriate when there are those with much more short term financial worries than themselves. Then again, you could see it equally that when a contract is drawn up, there is an agreement from both parties to fulfil it. The difference is football isn’t your average business.

Players in today’s game are regularly having criticism levelled at them for not being loyal. The Italian strikes in particular raise this issue. Are players being denied the chance to be loyal by the clubs trying to move them on in the final year of their contract? In England, you could look at the case of Samir Nasri.
The actual purpose of a contract can be called into question in football. It has to be asked whether there’s a point in even having one when a lot of players are prepared to flout it to get their “dream move.”

Clubs arguably have a responsibility to their players. They want loyalty from their players but they’re denying their players from doing this by selling them on in their last year. There is clearly a lack of trust with players. They don’t believe they will sign a deal with them in the final year of their contract and hence try to sell them on instead of risking losing them for nothing.

Maybe it is a good thing though that clubs make a stand against the players who try to see out their deals. The clubs have to protect their own interests and if that means selling players in the last year of the contract, so be it.
Nevertheless, the next time the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who are being paid millions each year decide to strike, they should take into account the people who really suffer – the fans. If there are no fans, football is nothing. Yet they are continually disregarded. I for one have spent many a day on the motorway, trekking up and down the country to watch football.

Do the authorities and the clubs really care? They do a very good impression of not doing so. The ticket prices at QPR set by Flavio Briatore at the beginning of the season were farcical. The way fixtures are changed at such short notice to satisfy television schedules. The armchair fan is much more appreciated than the supporter who goes to every game.

Italy is already struggling with attendances. I wonder how many who booked their trips for the opening weekend of Serie A felt when they saw the reasoning for the strikes. They can’t have been too pleased. The same goes for any Spanish fans that had done the same the weekend before.

Although the players and the clubs have their reasons, both can take into account the third party that has no control over what happens and yet cares the most.
The supporters.

Blog by Archie Rhind-Tutt

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.
Zmarcus (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Ibra no longer plays for inter. Just fyi
Matt (Footytube Staff) 5 years ago
Tanmay (Footytube Moderator) 5 years ago
Badly written and barely makes a point. Let me summarise the whole article for you. "Strike in Italy: spoilt rich footballers or wronged employees? Either way, me sad. "
Emmetwb (Arsenal) 5 years ago
If you knew how to make an intelligent argument you'd realise you need to look at both sides of the story before making a definitive judgement. The point is that spoilt rich footballers and clubs who don't trust their players are ruining the game for supporters

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