Serie A on the verge of financial ruin, says Inter CEO Marotta

Italy's Serie A is at the risk of insolvency and needs more financial support from the government during the pandemic and stadiums at higher capacity, according to Inter Milan chief executive Giuseppe Marotta.

FILE PHOTO: Marotta also said that the football industry does not get as much financial aid as other industries because it is not taken seriously.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Italy's Serie A is at the risk of insolvency and needs more financial support from the government during the pandemic and stadiums at higher capacity, according to Inter Milan chief executive Giuseppe Marotta.

In an interview with Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Marotta said, "Serie A and more in general Italian football are at risk of insolvency. The government and political institutions cannot ignore this anymore.

"It is a system at the edge of the abyss, which without a doubt had already issues before COVID-19 but which has received virtually no support in these two years in the pandemic."

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Serie A clubs had unanimously agreed earlier this month to cut stadium capacity to 5,000 for two rounds of matches to help curb COVID-19 cases, but Marotta urged all stakeholders to now allow more spectators.

Italy, hit initially the worst by COVID-19, put off matches and closed stadiums soon after the outbreak reached the country at the start of 2020 and has kept stadiums at a limited capacity of up to 50% ever since it started lifting restrictions.

"Outdoor facilities are without a doubt safe with FFP2 masks, super green pass and capacity reduced to 50%. Cutting tickets to 5,000 spectators has been further proof of taking things seriously and another sacrifice for us," he said.

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"If France is getting ready to welcome 100% supporters, like it is already happening in England, does it make sense for us to stick to a lower number (of spectators)?"

The Italian football association (FIGC) could not be reached for a comment.

The former Juventus CEO added that the football industry does not get as much financial aid as other industries because it is not taken seriously.

"Football is still considered the world of 'rich and stupid' presidents who waste money away for fun," he said. "Our world struggles to be recognised for what it is but how can you ignore the fact that professional football is an industry like any other?"

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