Crocodile tears over the growth decree

We have to change the perspective of Italian football.

Even though a week has passed since the news that “shocked” Italian football, the various presidents of Serie A continue to make the rounds on radio, television and in the newspapers, giving interviews about how crazy and masochistic the government's decision is was. We are obviously talking about the Meloni manager's decision not to grant the now famous two-month extension “Growth Decree”which led to real crocodile tears among the managers of the most important Italian clubs.

As leaked from Palazzo Chigi, league secretary Matteo Salvini would have put an end to tax breaks for footballers from abroad. In fact, the Minister of Transport appeared to be decisive on this issue: “It is immoral to give discounts to multi-millionaire foreign footballers. Clubs should think about investing in youth teams and Italian youth». However simplistic and populist our tone may be, Salvini is absolutely right about the core of the issue. And the fact that it was he who set the direction for the “revival” of Italian football says a lot about the work that the presidents of the 20 clubs and the Lega Serie A are (not) doing.

But why, in your opinion, should this lack of extension, including just two months, lead to a…? serious regression to our football?

The solution is easy to decide (economically, of course) and we need the support of Sports Minister Andrea Abodi. In fact, immediately after the official announcement, he himself expressed dissatisfaction and spoke of “Problems in one sector (Series A, ed.) already in trouble on a financial level due to Covid and the ruthless competition from other European clubs». As if the Serie A clubs hadn't received roughly 2020-2022 in all this 150 million in economic aid in connection with the pandemic.

The fact is that the refrain was common and companies invoked the concrete possibility Foreign champions lose our championship and therefore be less competitive in Europe. However, there is now a clear clarification: the repeal of the decree does not apply retroactively. Claudio Lotito can therefore be reassured by pointing the finger at his own government – and explaining that he has not benefited from it in the past anyway – that he will continue to benefit from the tax breaks on the purchase of Isaksen, Castellanos, Kamada and Guendouzi will come.

However, the protests focus on the issue, which was also raised by Sports Minister Andrea Abodi, who quoted: “There tough competition European associations and concessions Instead, they definitely have some».

However, the minister should be reminded of one fact: from 2020 to today In Italy the tax exemption due to the famous decree was 50%, while in Holland and France it was 30%.. Above all, the other nations are not coming out of two sensational consecutive world exclusions. And that is the really crucial point: for an Italian government The priority must be the development of the national movementdoes not guarantee a strong tax break for those clubs (private entities) that recruit foreign footballers, taking advantage of a decree that has all too often proven to be an own goal for the development of national football.

However, the latest data on the top 5 European Championships is rather merciless: as annual investments for clubs in the youth sector Italy is in second to last place (On average, an English company invests 6.5 million a year in kindergartens, a German 5.4, a French 4.8, an Italian 4.6 and a Spanish only 3.8 – a value held by Barcelona, ​​among others becomes). However, when it comes to investment, La Liga can rely on one fundamental fact: the maximum playing time given to domestic players.

According to the CIES Football Observatory, the Spanish league leads this ranking with 17.1% of total minutes played by products of its own academy, followed by the Premier League (12.1%), Ligue 1 (11.7%) and the Bundesliga (10.2%); The series (7.2%) is ranked 29th out of 30 European Championships, ahead of which only the Turkish Süper Lig is. A gap that former U21 coach Nicolato also highlighted «We started with an U21 team that had Serie A players, we have to leave soonTo Look for them in Series C».

Added to this is the photography taken in 2023 by scouted football, what I counted guaranteed minutes for young people in the top 5 European Championships (from 2004): Ligue 1 at the top, with 10,434 minutes and 34 players used; then the Premier League, 4,269 minutes and 18 teenagers; then La Liga, 4,072 minutes for 13 young players; the Bundesliga, 2,654 and 20 young people; finally Serie A, only 752 minutes divided between 14 players.

Not to mention the most comprehensive data of all, which most concerns the growth decree or rather the percentage of it Total minutes played by foreign players: in Serie A 65%, Highest value in Europe. This means that the Italians only play 35% of the minutes in our top league. A percentage that was only calculated in the last few days and reported from Repubblica, which has continued to grow compared to 2022 in which we already topped this ranking with 64% of minutes played by foreigners, compared to 59% of the globalized Premier League, 54% of the Bundesliga, 41% of La Liga and 39% of Ligue 1.

Foreigners who live in Italy, among other places, even reach almost every second person feathers.

Then forget the pompous and unfounded declarations of the various Lotitos, Abodi, Marotta – “At a time when our football is rising in the rankings and three teams took part in European finals last year, abolishing the growth decree is an own goal» and so on: If a team wants to win a (foreign) champion, they will do it anyway. But perhaps he will also try to invest in Italians this way Create these champions instead of mourning their absence.

Then we as fans may also be disappointed by the abolition of the measure, but we should have the clarity to understand that if we want a competitive championship and a recovering movement tomorrow (and in such a complex and indebted economic environment) , we should work today for this to happen, Bring out talent, not beg for it from foreign countries. An approach that applies even more to presidents who are similar to those who complain that there is no food on the table even though they have done nothing to make it happen. Maybe it's a good time to change your perspective and stop hiding the dust under the carpet.

Stop living on gimmicks and handouts and start growing with ideas and projects. But also easy to get started get more Italians to take part in the Italian championshipBecause – beyond the big systems and more or less far-sighted theories – it often boils down to this: whoever plays gets better. And how many times in Serie A have we given possession to Italian players just for an “emergency” who then proved their worth? In short, it is time to change the perspective and if abolishing the decree can help, then so be it. We are aware that if it fails, at least this time we can avoid putting it on governments.

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