With Italian Serie A fans having to live somewhat vicariously through the fortunes of other nations as the Azzuri again failed to qualify for the World Cup, held for the first time in winter out in the temperatures of Qatar. As we now know Argentina ultimately again lifted the trophy as the uber talented Lionel Messi got his hands on the highest prize in football, and fans were now simply awaiting the resumption of the domestic football calendar after European leagues found themselves largely on a pause.
With the return to action nearing as January draws ever closer, there was a piece of massive, albeit controversial, news that came out from the Italian Government this week and it concerned the affairs of tax repayments owed by clubs following help that was provided to football clubs as the Coronavirus pandemic hit that left them, arguably, more unable to balance their own books given the climate at the time. Others would complain they should not treat finances like games at https://www.slotozilla.com/uk/real-money.
The proposed ‘Salvacalcio’ amendment had been repeatedly shot down by the Government, including Minister for Sport Andrea Abodi, who had previously been on record as saying that the general public would be inflamed and incensed if multi million pound companies were effectively given additional access to public funds, simply to help them balance the books over a greater period of time – when basically, they should cut their cloth accordingly and get their affairs in order more quickly.
Earlier in December, Abodi was quoted as saying the end was not the end for football clubs who could not comply.
“In sport you can die and be reborn, Juventus did it already. We are against ad hoc rules for sporting clubs and in particular Serie A. Football clubs are still businesses and we are not in a position to give them exclusive instruments to make their lives easier. Public opinion would not accept that.”
Despite the move being opposed by the likes of Napoli and Fiorentina who pointed out that it effectively gave an unfair sporting and financial advantage to clubs who had simply not taken the step of subsequently balancing their books, the Government unexpectedly gave them the last minute reprieve and they are now able to spread out the repayment of the collective 500 million Euros tax debt over numerous coming years.
The reprieve is essentially now an extension of the Covid introduced option to allow instalments to be paid when it comes to taxes and other owed contributions, and it means they are no longer required to be paid in a single lump sum.
Lazio President, and recently elected Senator, Claudio Lotito fought hard to push this amendment through, and worked directly on getting it added to the budget. The overall payment amounts to 889 million Euros when other sporting entities are included. For Serie A specifically, according to news agency ANSA, it means clubs can spread their own liability over 60 payments, but they will incur a 3% interest charge and it is now expected the liability will be cleared between 2023 and 2027, with the first instalment due by December 29.
There will definitely be some clubs who are breathing a sigh of relief as the full repayment was otherwise due on Thursday of this week.
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