Italian players stand firm with strike threat

The Italian players' association have warned they will strike unless a new collective contract is signed before the start of the Serie A season this weekend.



The players' representatives of all 20 Serie A clubs met in Milan this afternoon to reaffirm their demand for the league to sign a new deal.



"We reiterate our position," said players' association president Damiano Tommasi.



"If the contract is signed, we will play on Saturday or Sunday. Otherwise, we will stay at home.



"There is time as on Wednesday the league will meet."



The Italian Players association (AIC) said the league has still not signed an agreement reached with the players last year after intense negotiations, during which strikes were twice narrowly averted.



An old collective agreement expired at the end of the 2009/10 campaign and talks for its renewal continued throughout last season.



The AIC was especially unhappy about clubs trying to force players to move in the last year of their contracts.



The threat of a strike in Italy comes after industrial action this past weekend in Spain, where there were no matches in the top two divisions due to a dispute over unpaid wages. A meeting today between the two sides saw little progress made.

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