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The decline of Italian footbal...

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The decline of Italian football

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

01:50 20 Jan 2018


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Paddy Agnew joined Friday's Off the Ball to analyse the decline of Italian football.

Attendances at Serie A matches have plummeted in recent years, so much so that even the Championship in England has better match-day attendance figures.

Asked why a league that once attracted the biggest stars of the game from Ronaldo to Zidane has regressed so much, Paddy Agnew told Ger Gilroy: "Well it's essentially that the ruling powers in Italian football reflect the ruling powers in Italian life and the ruling powers in Italian politics - they are unable to get out of an old mindset and unable to adapt. 

"Italy has many wonderful qualities that it can sell to the world and when I was working in Italy 20 years ago - one of them was Italian football and they failed to maximise that market while the Premiership very astutely maximised the market. 

"If the Italian economy is the sick man of the European Union so too is Italian football - it's reflecting in Italian football  - it's simply not had the same economic power and it's not necessarily related but it is a reflection of the first time in 50 years of Italy not going to a World Cup," he added.

"Italian football owed its success to wealthy industrial barons," he continued, adding "The Moratti, who are a family had Inter Milan, The Moratti people import oil and petrol. You had Berlusconi, the media tycoon, at AC Milan. You still had people like the Leders family at Fiorentina, you had Achille Lauro in the '50s at Napoli - the point is that that is an outdated model in today's world.  

"It's by no means coincidental that this is the year, 2017, when Silvio Berlusconi sold AC Milan after a 30 year period in charge of the club."

The full discussion can be heard here: 

The decline of Italian football

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

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