Serie A player strike postponed

A planned strike in Serie A for this weekend has been postponed, but players’ association president Sergio Campana warned Tuesday that if a new contract is not settled by Nov. 30 the strike will go ahead.

The planned strike had coincided with the first big match of the season, with five-time defending champion Inter Milan scheduled to visit last season’s runner-up, AS Roma, on Saturday.

Campana said the players are still not satisfied with two items on the new proposed collective contract – one clause that would prevent them from refusing transfers near the end of their contracts and another regarding out of contract players being kept from preseason training.

"Without these conditions it will be an automatic strike," Campana said.

The first opportunity for the strike to be carried out after Nov. 30 is Dec. 4 and 5, when Inter is scheduled to visit Lazio.

The clubs’ transfer proposal stipulates that when a player has a year remaining on his contract, he must accept a move to another, equally competitive club that guarantees the same financial treatment. If the player doesn’t accept the transfer, he must come to a mutual contract resolution with the club, according to the proposal.

The previous collective contract expired in June and AC Milan defender Massimo Oddo read a strike proclamation earlier this month signed by the captains and union representatives of all 20 Serie A clubs.

Players went on strike in March 1996 due to several issues, including the Bosman ruling, which established the right of players to switch clubs freely once their contracts expired and found that the strict limits on foreigners were illegal.

The players’ association (AIC) also announced Tuesday it had reached a deal not to play Jan. 6, which is a holiday in Italy. The 18th round will be played Dec. 22 instead, making the holiday break Dec. 23 to Jan. 8, with games resuming Jan. 9.