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Opening round delayed as Serie A strike is confirmed

The opening day of the 2011-12 Serie A campaign has been called off after the Italian players' association (AIC), Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the Lega Calcio failed to reach a deal regarding a collective bargaining agreement.

Damiano Tommasi, president of (AIC), stated on Wednesday that it was unlikely that the planned strike would be called off and his fears have now come true.

AIC made a last ditch attempt to ward off the strike on Friday as they proposed a stop-gap solution that would give the parties involved more time to find a permanent solution.

Nevertheless, the proposed bridge-contract based on the agreements reached so far between the different parties, which would expire on 30 June 2012, was swiftly rejected by Lega Calcio.

"There will be no Serie A this weekend. We tried right up until the end, but ultimately all the talks were in vain," Tommasi was quoted as saying by reporters.

The biggest talking point is the so-called article seven about players who are deemed surplus to requirements by their coaches. AIC insists that those players should be allowed to train with the rest of the squad, while the clubs want autonomy for the coaches. 

The Italian government's decision to introduce an extra tax on wages over €90,000 per year has been the other issue that prevented parties from reaching agreement. The clubs feel that the players must pay the tax, rather than the clubs, while AIC feels the employers are responsible for paying the extra money.