Italian Football Federation (Figc) president Giancarlo Abete claimed on Monday that an agreement to avoid a proposed players’ strike is close to being found.
Last week the Italian Players’ Association (AIC) announced the strike, scheduled for the weekend of September 25-26, after failing to come to an agreement with clubs on a contract concerning players’ rights.
But Abete now claims that the strike will soon be called off.
“An agreement will be found and I believe, in the last few hours, there have been positive signs to call off the strike and allow play to go ahead,” he told reporters ahead of a meeting between the AIC and the Italian Football League.
“We hope it will be a positive meeting, we’re looking for a maximum taking of responsability and most of all shared availability.”
Abete disagreed that the call to strike was an overblown response.
“I believe it was the right time to talk about this, the important thing is to work to end the strike and to ensure play goes on as normal,” he added.
A collective contract between the AIC and league bosses guaranteeing players’ rights expired during the summer, however talks on renewing that deal failed, leading to the current impasse.
Clubs now want the power to insist that players who are in the final year of their contracts must accept a transfer to another, equally competitive club.
If the player disagrees, he must buy out the final year of his contract at 50 percent of its worth.
Players refuse to sign such an agreement but the Football League president Maurizio Beretta is hopeful.
“You have to remain optimistic, there’s room to understand each other and find an agreement,” he said.
“The principle of our proposal is to ensure the sustainability of our economic system.
“It’s UEFA themselves who suggested it.
“Of course the proposed strike doesn’t help the negotiations but I’m convinced the situation will improve.”
Players’ boss Sergio Campana, however, defended the association’s actions.
“We’re the only union which doesn’t ask for money, our players have put themselves at the service of everyone to guarantee that is safeguarded,” he said.
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