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No swift end to players strike in Serie A

Officials are warning that the Serie A strike action by players could continue for many weeks to come, reports Sport Business. The Lega Serie A, representing Italy's 20 top-flight clubs, on Friday rejected a last-minute proposal from the Italian Players' Association (AIC) for a one-season deal to avert strike action, leading to the postponement of fixtures on Saturday and Sunday.

However, Lega Serie A president Maurizio Beretta rejected the idea and told Italian news agency Ansa: "Our assembly was clear. We will only sign an agreement if it contains the two points under discussion - the solidarity contribution and that of training outside the first-team squad."

The AIC is particularly concerned about clubs trying to force players to move in the last year of their contracts and unwanted players being forced to train separately.

Meanwhile, the clubs are seeking to insert a clause confirming players will pay a new solidarity tax announced by the Italian government this month on all workers earning over Eur90,000 a month.

With this coming weekend being dedicated to international games, a window has opened for further negotiations. However, AIC president Damiano Tommasi remains pessimistic that an agreement can be reached.

He said: "I have the distinct impression that 15 days will not be enough. We may need months. The Lega is clearly split. They've been saying no for a year and a half. The players are disappointed not to be playing but it's not down to a question of finance or because of a whim. For professionals it's just right to begin a season with a signed collective agreement."

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