Friday, September 10, 2010

Serie A "Strike"

In North America, we are subjected to months of speculation, rumour, empty threats, philosophical musings about antitrust legislation and competitive parity, only to have an agreement announced at the last minute before the league opener. In Italy, Massimo Oddo holds a press conference a couple of weeks into the season and all hell breaks loose.

While everyone's calling the Italian players association Sept. 25-26th walkout a "strike," it seems more like a work-stoppage than a full-blown permanent striking action.  It seems to be over a final year of contract player transfer policy that isn't explained very well by anyone. In any case, the work stoppage will cause chaos for broadcasters and league schedulers, but honestly, this very weird Reuters article reprinted in the Globe is pretty ridiculous. It basically informs us that because of the weekend action of a few Serie A players, the rest of the sports world now has some sort of "precedent" to do the same, and this is indicatory of a rising global "player power," as if they are going to rise up and enslave our wives while setting fire to libraries and orphanages.

Either that, or the strike will, according to Mark Meadows, "...encourage other disaffected player unions to seek similar action, with industrial disputes being largely confined to American sports like NHL in recent years" (yes, that cherished American sport, National Hockey League). Anyway, we'll see what comes from it. Probably an extremely boring contractual compromise of some sort.

1 comment:

cty said...

Thank you for pointing out one of the more, um, pointless Euro offerings on the wires.
There was in there, though, one small nugget that demanded amplification (didn't get it). Who are the owners pushing for pay-for-play contracts? Sounds a lot like the NFL model of heavily incentive-based deals, although in the case of the most in-demand players (ie proven top-level veterans, or top draft picks) the guaranteed money is heavier than others get.
Great blog, Richard. Shamefully, I only recently came across it.