Serie A president claims 'the system is close to collapsing' following latest coronavirus protocols

Juventus Inter Serie A coronavirus
Getty
Paolo Dal Pino fears the industry will be unable to sustain much more financial hardship

Serie A President Paolo Dal Pino has warned the Italian government that football “is close to collapsing” in the country after fresh coronavirus restrictions banned supporters from stadiums once more.

Up to 1,000 fans have been allowed into Serie A stadiums over recent weeks since restrictions were eased in September.

However, following an increase in cases Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has imposed tighter restrictions once more in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

Bars and restaurants must now close at 6pm each evening, while sports centres and gyms will remain shut until November 24.

Professional sport is allowed to continue but must now take place behind closed doors, meaning Monday night’s Serie A clash between AC Milan and Roma took place at an empty San Siro, while Wednesday’s blockbuster Champions League clash between Juventus and Barcelona will also be played without fans.

Dal Pino understands the need to safeguard public health but has questioned the severity of the regulations and wonders whether the government appreciates the damage it is causing to the football industry.

He has also called on the government to provide some economic support to try and mitigate some of the losses caused by the lack of supporters at games.

"I hope the government understands the value of football as an industry, beyond any superficial demagogy,” Dal Pino told reporters.

“We are very concerned, we are close to collapsing and I fear that the country’s economy will pay dearly for the restrictive measures that have been put in place.

Article continues below

“Health comes first but it is important to do the right things, planning in the medium and long term and think about the consequences on employment.

“The side effects of the recent measures affect many sectors, including our own, which lost €600m (£544m/$708m) in 2020 due to the closure of stadiums.

“We expect attention and sensitivity from the government. The Prime Minister has clearly said that the sectors affected by forced closures will have an economic aid and we expect that an industry like ours, which pays more than €1 billion (£907m/$1.2bn) in taxes every year, will receive what was announced.”

Close