Getting 20 Serie A clubs to agree on anything is a minor miracle. Then you throw coming back from a global health pandemic into the equation and you could very well get 20 different opinions from each one of those 20 Serie A clubs.
But on Tuesday, that group of 20 club owners actually agreed on something.
The show must go on — but with a catch.
The 20 Serie A clubs voted unanimously — yes, unanimously — to finish the 2019-20 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one that has caused over 26,000 to lose their life in Italy. There is a catch, as previously mentioned: Those 20 clubs all agreed to finish the season ... if the Italian government gives the OK to do so, which might not be as easy of a decision as some people might think it will be.
The statement from Lega Serie A:
“The Assembly of the Lega Serie A met this morning and confirmed, with the unanimous vote of all 20 clubs in video conference, the intention to complete the 2019-20 season, if the government allows it and in full compliance with the rules for the protection of health and safety.
“The resumption of sporting activity in the so-called Phase Two, as already highlighted in the past, will take place in accordance with the indications of FIFA and UEFA, with the decisions of the FIGC, as well as in compliance with the medical protocols to protect the players and staff.”
The big deal in this being unanimous is that it looked like that 20-0 vote to finish the season wasn’t going to happen or even come close to it just a small number of days ago. Many clubs have been vocal about the league trying to finish the season, which has been on hold since Juventus’ Derby d’Italia win over Inter Milan at an empty Allianz Stadium on March 9. The most vocal club was clearly Brescia, which said that it would have preferred to abandon the season right now and thus forfeit matches rather than coming back to play as hundreds of people are still dying each day. (Tuesday saw 534 Italians die due to the coronavirus, for what it’s worth.)
And that’s why a unanimous vote was more than a little surprising.
But, like the league statement says, it’s in the ball is in the government’s court now. This will be done, hopefully, with an eye put toward the health of players, coaches and staff rather than finishing out the season just to get the remainder of the television money from Sky Italia and the like. The current government decree has clubs not allowed to do any kind of training until May 3, with clubs eyeing May 4 as a day to resume training.