Serie A requests shakeup of lower leagues

Lega Serie A will today request a major reform of the Italian league system by seeking changes that would allow its reserve teams to play in the country’s lower leagues.

The Lega announced the news on Saturday following an assembly meeting in Milan and will make its proposal to the Italian Football Federation (FIGC). The move is designed to boost youth development in the domestic game, with Serie A having a team for each of its clubs playing in the Lega Pro, the third and fourth tiers of Italian football.

The proposed league would be an under-21 championship, while allowing some over-age players to compete. However, Lega Serie A president Maurizio Beretta has conceded that it may not receive approval. He said: “In that case we will then look at the possibility of setting up an under-21 championship with some exceptions (players above the age of 21), with the aim of enabling the development of young talent, while keeping the current Primavera (highest youth team age group, between 15-21) championship with some reforms.”

Spanish football operates a similar system whereby a number of the country’s top clubs operate ‘B’ teams in the lower leagues. FC Barcelona B currently competes in the Segunda Division along with Real Madrid Castilla.