SLIPPING SERIE A
Recently, in a candid interview, Paulo Maldini expressed his views that Serie A is sliding in terms of value in Europe to rival Leagues. It has to do something fast to catch them.
It’s officially declared that English Premier Leagues tops figures of viewership and money spent-earned with 4 clubs enjoying the seat in top 10 money holders of the world. Bundesliga has maximum attendance per match and is the most profitable league of the world. Ruhr and Baverian clubs, producing the first all German final (totally unexpected) speaks louder for their strength and a new ‘Avatar’ of German clubs. Spanish League has always produced best talents, as can be seen in the names of FIFA 2012 team list where whole bunch of 11 were from La liga!! Forget about Real Madrid and Barcelona, even Atletico Madrid carries a tradition of producing fiercest of strikers. Even at this stage, 6 clubs are walking slippery alley of relegation there.
But Serie A is fast loosing the charm it has once enjoyed. In truth, their peak was in the days of Maradona and as soon as Nepoli retires his jersey no. 10, slowly but gradually, the slide begins. They were represented by only 2 clubs in this year’s (Udinese lost the playoff) Ch League. In UEFA cup also, they were nowhere even in Semi final stage. Naturally, they have lost significant UEFA coefficient and in the next year they will be represented by fewer clubs than England, Spain and Germany. Half or less filled stadiums (even in Milan and Rome derby, which was unimaginable before), low viewership, decreasing loyalty and travelers with clubs on away grounds, depleting revenue, more clubs going bankrupt are few of many problems troubling Italian League, much like their ailing Economy. Last FIFA world player of the year winner, selected from Serie A was KAKA in Red-Black strips in 2007. No nomination in the category since then is only adding insult to injury. More humiliation could happen as this year’s golden boy, Edilson Cavani has been offered handsome deals from greener pastures and he may follow Ibra’s road.
Serie A is in touching distance to other leagues of the world. Last year, in a FIFA release, it was declared that among Europeans, Turkey and Russia are pumping large amount of money into their Leagues. Clubs are throwing money there to pick best talent of players and coaches to fulfill their European dream. Though Italians have featured in maximum Champions League finals, 26, yet since 2010, they are searching for even a semi final berth.
A winner talks about the future whereas a loser hangs in past. The weekly Serie A magazine on television showcases highlights of past matches; it can be guessed what I mean. The world soccer wants Italian Gladiators to come out of Colosseum and reestablish Roman Empire, which they definitely can.