Malagò at Corriere dello sport: “Masters of football, it’s time to change”

President of Cuneo Giovanni Malago spoke to sports mail war, sports crisis and high level sports. His analysis on football lasts. Here are some concepts: “Football is the only sport where the bosses still exist. At least in Italy. In England, the owner never has direct management of the business. Delegate, confirm, reciprocate. With us, on the other hand, the presidents sing it and play it. I remember that when, as commissioner of the League, I set in motion the revision of the statute to have a board of directors with president, general manager, independent administrators, they looked at me as someone who wanted the violate. Yet I was playing at home, there was mutual trust and esteem, these are people I love and with whom I have dinner. But for them the ideal was to continue to maintain the management of the participatory assembly, in which there are twenty people in charge so that no one is in charge. The same is true within companies. Whoever sells the TV rights cannot be the same person who deals with the grass on the pitch and the players’ contract. Budgets speak. And they say the main road to economic results has been lost without achieving sporting goals. Why did Moratti, Berlusconi and before the lawyer spend a lot of money, but at least the whim is removed, raising cups on all sides. Today we only have debts and humiliations outside the borders. Look at the quantitative and qualitative level of TV rights. Little revenue and litigation galore. But I say: the Americans, who are masters in business, are stupid to leave everything to the commissioner”?

Are Americans good for Italian football? Even when properties are hedge funds like Elliott buying and selling just to make a profit? “If they hadn’t arrived, with new funding, many clubs would have jumped already.”

But why are the great Italian entrepreneurs turning away? Are they afraid to expose themselves? “There are fewer and fewer. Can you imagine someone like Del Vecchio or Armani, to name just two, getting into a similar dynamic? The large families, those who remain, are shocked by the system”.

Capital gains are football’s black hole. The federal court saved them. But the problem remains of linking the financial value of athletes to sporting value. How do you do? “By equating industrial costs and wages with turnover volumes. Still looking at the Americans, who, unsurprisingly, practice the salary cap. It is not a question of denying the merits of the champions. But cultivate realism and the wisdom of doing business. One thing strikes me. Football is the only economy that thinks clean and not raw. It is to measure the reality on the desire and the consumption, and not on the investment behind to concretize them”.

His story seems to be the story of Juve paying Ronaldo a salary of 31 million and, not to offend others, increasing the salary of the whole team. “With a detail that I would not overlook. Ronaldo’s 31 million is partly justified by the tax reduction provided by the law on the entry of foreigners into Italy, the increase in other salaries does not have a color patch instead”.

Have the football elites understood the problem? “Gravina yes, and very well. The new president of the League, Lorenzo Casini, is a lawyer: he must be put in a position to work. We need new governance and new rules. And above all the harmony between the Federation and the League”.

Why are there no stadiums in Italy? “Firstly because we fear that the owners do not want to build only the stadium, but also something else”.

Profits don’t like it? “Small. But the fans have to understand that without profits, clubs die. Then often what I call a combination of planets is missing: ownership, square and local politics that go in the same direction. Sometimes this conjuncture astral is found, but the procedures are slow, and if the attitude of only one of the parties involved changes, everything fails”.

Does it make sense to have a Serie A championship that sells matches like Empoli-Spezia or Salernitana-Venice on foreign television? “Certainly not. Failing in the Super League does not mean changing nothing. But the opposite”.

Playoffs and playouts? “Why not. Of course not with twenty teams”.

Actual time? “Yes with conviction. I can’t stand to see players on the ground simulating multiple fractures, or substituted players coming off the field in slow motion. Real time promotes sporting loyalty”.

Var on call? “Agreed. Technology is very useful, but it needs to be used better”.

Are you worried that seventy players out of a hundred in Italy are foreigners and that there are no starting shirts for young players? “More than anyone in the world. There are 172,000 fewer people at the desks in Italian schools than fifteen years ago. Demographic decline is complicit in crèches made up exclusively of foreigners and in the system’s crisis of competitiveness. In other parts of the world, the opposite is true. There are countries with a demographic boom and a culture of single stake football. Either we team up or we have a sporting hegemony that is part of our culture. ends. This must not happen.”

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