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The Italian professional footballers association (AIC) wants to modify the "gentlemen’s agreement" announced by the Lega di Serie B last month. The clubs in Italy’s second division want to introduce a salary cap for the players.

 

On Monday, the AIC welcomed the president of the Lega di Serie B, Andrea Abodi, to a meeting with approximately 20 captains of clubs from the Serie B. Abodi explained the background of the decision by the clubs to standardise players' contracts with a fixed and variable element each not exceeding 150,000 euro, starting from July 1, 2013. Many clubs in the Serie B are having to cope with financial difficulties.

 

‘It is not a rule, it is a resolution of the assembly of Lega di Serie B clubs, a sort of a gentlemen’s agreement’, says Stefano Sartori, AIC’s Head of Labour Relations. ‘But we consider it a rule, because if a club signs a player on a contract worth more than 150,000 euro, it will receive less money from television rights.’

 

The AIC cannot accept the gentlemen’s agreement. ‘We have two objections’, Sartori explains. ‘First, it is unacceptable to put a cap on a player’s salary while other personnel at the club are exempt from this rule. If you want to introduce such a limit, then it should apply to all personnel including trainers, directors and all other employees. A significant percentage of the budget of a club is spent on non-players.’

 

‘Second, we cannot agree with a rule that prevents individual negotiation of workers' conditions. Under a salary cap, it is possible that a player who scores thirty goals earns the same salary as a player who only appeared in two games.’

 

‘Monday’s meeting with the players and president Abodi was a positive meeting’, said Sartori. The AIC and the Lega di Serie B agreed to discuss a possible modification of the gentlemen’s agreement at a new meeting of the union and the league. Later this week, the AIC will send a written document containing the players union's objections and proposals for modification of the Lega di Serie B’s gentlemen’s agreement.