Xtratime Community banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,131 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What changes would you make to improve the quality of the Italian professional leagues, the Italian NT, and the Serie A teams' results in the CL?

I would:

- Reduce the number of Serie A teams to 18. This would reduce the level of fatigue, esp in the second half of the season, considerably. From Feb till the Roma game in May, IIRC, Juve internationals only got two midweeks off.

- Start Serie A a week or two earlier. Serie A are always behind in fitness during preseason and during CL/EL preliminaries. (Preseason friendlies matter too because you don't win as many fans abroad when you lose.)

- Play the evening games between top teams earlier in the day - like they do in the EPL - so that you can cater to and generate more viewers from Asia.

- Play some games offshore to increase brand awareness and generate more potential viewers. Start with the Supercoppa and Coppa Italia final. Add a few league derbies later.

- Have a relegation/promotion system for referees too. E.g., the two top performers from Serie B would get promoted to Serie A, and the two worst Serie A referees would ref in Serie B the following season.

- Allow more physical contacts to mimic refereeing in the CL.

- Be the first league to introduce video technology.

- Encourage clubs to employ sports psychologists / mental conditioning coaches (Introducing the concept at the NT level alone might be enough for it to spread.). (They are widely used in American sports. Klinsmann brought over this concept from the US when he began coaching Germany. He was mocked and called "California Klinsy" at first. But by 2006, every Bundesliga club had one.)

- Require all clubs in the top-two divisions to operate centrally regulated academies (which is what Germany administered in 2002 and which has been generating lots of great young German players).

- Allow clubs to have B teams so that they can better develop their young players. Competition is lacking big time at the primavera level. In that regard, La Liga teams, e.g., have a big advantage over Serie A clubs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,005 Posts
- Reduce the number of Serie A teams to 18. This would reduce the level of fatigue, esp in the second half of the season, considerably. From Feb till the Roma game in May, IIRC, Juve internationals only got two midweeks off.
:thmbup:

To increase competitiveness - which is usually the basis on which standards can be improved - I would relegate the bottom 4 clubs to Serie B - as was the case until 10 years or so ago, when 4 out of 18 clubs were relegated - in order to compensate for the loss of the extra place in CL/EL in order to sustain the competitive nature of the season for as long as possible.

- Start Serie A a week or two earlier. Serie A are always behind in fitness during preseason and during CL/EL preliminaries. (Preseason friendlies matter too because you don't win as many fans abroad when you lose.)
:thmbup:

- Play the evening games between top teams earlier in the day - like they do in the EPL - so that you can cater to and generate more viewers from Asia.
I love evening games, particularly for the sense of spectacle they give, and it also avoids going head-to-head with EPL games and fits with the later in the day Mediterranean culture. Also, one game is usually played at 1230 on Sundays in order to cater for the Asian TV market. I would not support this idea, although I understand why you suggest it.

- Play some games offshore to increase brand awareness and generate more potential viewers. Start with the Supercoppa and Coppa Italia final. Add a few league derbies later.
I would limit this to the Supercoppa, as has been the case recently with the contract with the Chinese. Too much a departure from tradition for me, plus it deprives local fans of watching their team; the revival of calcio should be built, principally, on local foundations, and the attractiveness of it should appeal to people abroad.

- Have a relegation/promotion system for referees too. E.g., the two top performers from Serie B would get promoted to Serie A, and the two worst Serie A referees would ref in Serie B the following season.
I don't know how effective that would be.

- Allow more physical contacts to mimic refereeing in the CL.
This might be cultural, but a style of refereeing closer to what is seen in another major countries should be encouraged, although how uniform such styles are is difficult to say. Ultimately cultural differences have always played a role in the application of the rulebook.

- Be the first league to introduce video technology.
I am opposed to technology being used in soccer and it is anyhow subject to a change in the rulebook, so it is not feasible at the moment.

- Encourage clubs to employ sports psychologists / mental conditioning coaches (Introducing the concept at the NT level alone might be enough for it to spread.). (They are widely used in American sports. Klinsmann brought over this concept from the US when he began coaching Germany. He was mocked and called "California Klinsy" at first. But by 2006, every Bundesliga club had one.)
I still think calcio's problems are fundamentally to do with attitudes to younger players and their development which are distorted by the format of Serie A and Serie B.

- Require all clubs in the top-two divisions to operate centrally regulated academies (which is what Germany administered in 2002 and which has been generating lots of great young German players).
I do not know enough about how Italian clubs operate their soccer schools and academies, but I would be suprised if what you suggest is not already a requirement. Perhaps better coach education and development is more important? Although Italy is the land most people think of when they think of coaches, the style of soccer most of them play - particularly the pace of it and how technical and enterprising it is - seems less efficient in the European arena.

- Allow clubs to have B teams so that they can better develop their young players. Competition is lacking big time at the primavera level. In that regard, La Liga teams, e.g., have a big advantage over Serie A clubs.
I oppose this idea because I think Serie B should be a valid competition in its own right for clubs and their fans. The strengthening of Serie B is essential for calcio's revival. Elite younger players should get their opportunities through player rotation in Serie A.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,067 Posts
- Reduce the number of Serie A teams to 18. This would reduce the level of fatigue, esp in the second half of the season, considerably. From Feb till the Roma game in May, IIRC, Juve internationals only got two midweeks off.
I wouldn't oppose to this, but don't expect it to happen. The expansion was made to have two more home games and added revenues. Don't expect the owners to give up on that. But 18 teams with 3 relegating sounds about right.

- Start Serie A a week or two earlier. Serie A are always behind in fitness during preseason and during CL/EL preliminaries. (Preseason friendlies matter too because you don't win as many fans abroad when you lose.)
Not feasible, partly because of the climate, mostly because of the Italian holiday season.

- Play the evening games between top teams earlier in the day - like they do in the EPL - so that you can cater to and generate more viewers from Asia.
No way. The Sunday lunchtime game is already a bad idea and often played in a bland atmosphere. Let's not ruin the top games, as well. In EPL the atmosphere is often quite low in the midday matches and they have sold-out crowds of 40-50k. Myself, I love evening football for the atmosphere. And frankly, I couldn't care less about Asian fans. I'm more worried about Italian fans not going to the stadiums.

- Play some games offshore to increase brand awareness and generate more potential viewers. Start with the Supercoppa and Coppa Italia final. Add a few league derbies later.
Supercoppa has been played abroad and that's fine. Coppa Italia belongs in Italy, the one-game final at Olimpico is starting to become a great spectacle, despite last year's problems. That tradition should be established instead of moving the match around the world. Derbies? You've got to be kidding. 90 percent of the excitement of derbies comes from the fans. I do agree that derbies should be changed. But that means bringing back the excitement of the past and losing the stupid ticket restrictions that currently hamper the Rome derby for example. I expect that those Asian fans will be more excited, as well.

- Have a relegation/promotion system for referees too. E.g., the two top performers from Serie B would get promoted to Serie A, and the two worst Serie A referees would ref in Serie B the following season.
It sort of goes like that already, although not so strictly restricted. Which is totally fine. That's definitely not the problem with referees.

- Allow more physical contacts to mimic refereeing in the CL.
Absolutely, yes! Would both improve Italian teams' chances in Europe and make the football more enjoyable. It could be easily done if the will was there. Just have the Italian refs whistle like they do in international matches and we're almost there. But everybody needs to part of the change. Players couldn't dive as much and media couldn't be so obsessed with running the replays.

- Be the first league to introduce video technology.
If brought in correctly, yes. An alternative would be not being so obsessive about refereeing in the first place, but I guess that's not a possibility.

- Encourage clubs to employ sports psychologists / mental conditioning coaches (Introducing the concept at the NT level alone might be enough for it to spread.). (They are widely used in American sports. Klinsmann brought over this concept from the US when he began coaching Germany. He was mocked and called "California Klinsy" at first. But by 2006, every Bundesliga club had one.)
Why not?

- Require all clubs in the top-two divisions to operate centrally regulated academies (which is what Germany administered in 2002 and which has been generating lots of great young German players).
This is basically already the case, plus I think the problems in developing talent are elsewhere.

- Allow clubs to have B teams so that they can better develop their young players. Competition is lacking big time at the primavera level. In that regard, La Liga teams, e.g., have a big advantage over Serie A clubs.
I like this suggestion. There is now too big a gap from primavera to Serie A and the system of loaning out players to Serie B is a difficult one. I imagine that young players would benefit more from playing in the same team with the same tactics than they would from playing Serie B in a new town, under a new coach and often in a minor role.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,005 Posts
I wouldn't oppose to this, but don't expect it to happen. The expansion was made to have two more home games and added revenues. Don't expect the owners to give up on that. But 18 teams with 3 relegating sounds about right.
Actually, it was the court case involving Catania which forced Serie B to be expanded to 22 clubs and Serie A to be exapnded to 20. The Lega Calcio - as it then was - compunded the problems that caused in reducing competitiveness by reducing the number of clubs relegated from 4 to 3, making the division less competitive, something which was compounded further by losing the seventh place in European competition, which has increased the number of menaingless games towards the end of the season and encouraged clubs to "play safe" operationally by knowing that so long as they finish in at least 17th position they can look forward to another year of Serie A TV income, which is what most clubs survive on.

I think this shows that the quality of management in calcio is probably inferior to that in several other European countries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,474 Posts
TO change the game here you need to change the culture of the country. Some of the suggestions won't work. Mostly kickoff times, start of season and moving games out of country (derbies etc.)

Evening games are great. People here eat between 8-9 sometimes later..I will eat in 10 minutes actually (its 20:50). Mostly everyone is home, perfect opportunity to invite people over for a nice meal and a game. For a lot of people this is family time.

Start the season early? Ha...ever heard of Ferragosto? Everyone is on holidays and don't care about anything else.

I won't even talk about the rival matches.

Video technology - agree
Smaller league - agree

I would increase the required # of Italians per squad. Go ahead bite my head off...I am involved with youth soccer in this country...gotta stick up for my young lads!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,005 Posts
Start the season early? Ha...ever heard of Ferragosto? Everyone is on holidays and don't care about anything else.
It is also a holiday in many western European countries, including France, Spain and Germany, while this year it was on a Friday, so it was possible to play two - or at least one - round of Serie A before the final weekend in August. Furthermore, UEFA dates count: Torino started the EL on 31 July, Inter (EL) and Napoli (CL) on 19/20 August.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,131 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Some great inputs, guys.

Maybe playing the evening games earlier isn't a good idea after all. Not only for cultural issues but also because they'd have to compete with EPL, and EPL would win.

On starting the season earlier, I don't see what's the big deal starting it just a week earlier. That'd also mean one less midweek game. And having only one round of Serie A and having two weeks off for NT games before resuming again is odd too. I understand the culture part of it, but at the same time, you've to be a bit flexible and realize that standardization would benefit us and that we're living in the era of globalization and are behind, so a little sacrifice - a week's worth - is necessary.

I would increase the required # of Italians per squad. Go ahead bite my head off...I am involved with youth soccer in this country...gotta stick up for my young lads!
Great suggestion. Is there currently a requirement that says X number/percentage of the squad needs to be Italian? What would you increase it to?

I think there should also be a min requirement of 3 Italians in the starting lineup. When clubs like Catania field 10 below-average Argentinians, it does Serie A and the Italian players no good. This will force clubs to develop homegrown players and play more young Italian players rather than think short-term and spend on foreign players who aren't good at all and garner no attraction or income. Start with 3 and change to 4 eventually.


I'd like to add a couple more:

- Match-fixing is a big issue. Players in lower divisions are a lot more likely to participate in match-fixing because of lower income. Only professional matches are fixed, and here's where the improvement can be made: Reduce the number of professional teams. In England, you've around 80 pro teams. In Spain, around 60. In Italy, there're a whopping 128 pro teams.

- Italia311 and other Italians can help me with this, and this is more of a Q:
Encourage clubs to ban alcohol (if possible?) and smoking (if smoking isn't banned in most cases already). Players even at collegiate level in the US aren't allowed to drink alcoholic beverages let alone smoke. I understand that wine-drinking is part of the culture and may not be banned, maybe discouraged at best. Is obscene, however, when I sometimes hear about players smoking. Is it usually banned?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,067 Posts
- Italia311 and other Italians can help me with this, and this is more of a Q:
Encourage clubs to ban alcohol (if possible?) and smoking (if smoking isn't banned in most cases already). Players even at collegiate level in the US aren't allowed to drink alcoholic beverages let alone smoke. I understand that wine-drinking is part of the culture and may not be banned, maybe discouraged at best. Is obscene, however, when I sometimes hear about players smoking. Is it usually banned?
seriously? I'm sure that smoking is frowned upon by coaches, but Italy's not a puritan country. These kinds of bans would be just limitations on personal liberty. Plus a drink here and there doesn't do anybody any harm. Obscene? Well not giving grown men the liberty have a drink, that would be obscene.

About match-fixing, where did you get the idea that only professional matches are fixed? I do believe match-fixing is an important problem, but I can't see how the solution could be paying players even less.

Match-fixing comes from a combination of greed, culture and financial trouble. You can't abolish greed, so we should attack the other two. Stronger punishments and more control is the only way to attack the culture. And clubs should not be allowed to be so irresponsible financially. Players must be paid every month or they will look for alternate sources of money. players in the lower leagues don't make a lot of money, they can't handle owners not paying them for three, six or even twelve months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,495 Posts
The most important policy is facilitating Italian teams to build their own stadiums, and break the monopoly the local municipalities have over the existing grounds teams play at.

This is the one major aspect which is holding back Italian teams.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,782 Posts
B teams is the most important thing. Otherwise Italy talents will continue to be wasted in endless useless loans to low quality sides that lack basic infrastructure to nurture their growth. Not to mention crappy coaches who add nothing to their tactical and physical development.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,782 Posts
Where do these b teams play?
Start from lower professional leagues and make their way up - but can't play in the same league as the A team.

Part of Spain's and Germany' success with youth is because of them. 90% of Spain golden generation graduated from B teams.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
Italian teams have lost 4 of the last five Champions League Third Round matches. On the one hand, the teams generally suck, on the other hand ... START THE SEASON EARLIER. Every European country goes on vacation in August too. Plus, it's not like the stadiums are full anyway. One or two weeks isn't going to hurt anyone. Italy is behind the eight in Europe and the NT is behind in early qualifications because of lack of fitness.

Also, if I were a dictator (because this is beyond the control of the FIGC president), I would abolish municipal ownership of stadiums. The fans don't want to go to most of these pieces of crap, the players don't want to play in them, and the teams don't get to capitalize as much as they should on matchday revenues.

Destroy the power of the Ultras. They are almost the tail that wags the dog at some clubs. Create a safer gameday environment and tell them to get along with new changes, or get out. You need families and children going to the games, not dudes in their 30s and 40s who think they are hard by letting off some steam at a soccer match and causing trouble.

The TV slot thing is tough, because I think all the good times are taken, and I don't think any neutral in their right mind would choose to watch a match in Serie A over a match in Germany (on Friday nights) or England (Monday nights).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,005 Posts
It is definately a handicap to start the season so late when it comes to CL/EL preliminaries, but the clubs are presumably aware of it like we are, so I do not expect it to change in the forseeable future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,270 Posts
Disgrace. I am losing my patience with Italian football. Napoli's season has failed before it even began. I bet Higuain is wondering why he ever left Real Madrid to play in the reject league.

Italy need 4 or 5 Abrahmovics - its the only hope to be brutally honest.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top