ROME (AP) — For a contest that has all the time held holidays as sacrosanct, Serie A is about to make an enormous break from custom.
Following the profitable instance of the English Premier League, the Italian league will play Serie A and Italian Cup matches in the course of the week between Christmas and New Yr’s Day.
“The idea is straightforward. Skilled soccer is an leisure product and providing it in the course of the vacation interval is a superb alternative for these in cost,” Roma common supervisor Mauro Baldissoni advised The Related Press.
“The Premier League has proven that it really works to supply this product through the holidays — each when it comes to stadium attendance and worldwide TV viewership.”
Whereas the schedule continues to be being decided, Cup matches will possible be held on Dec. 26 and 27 adopted by Serie A video games on Dec. 29 and 30.
Extra Cup matches are scheduled for Jan. 2 and three then Serie A once more on Jan. 5 and 6.
Prior to now, Serie A’s winter break started earlier than Christmas and lasted till after Jan. 6, which is Epiphany, a serious Catholic feast day and the top of the vacation interval in Italy.
This season, the break shall be from Jan. 7-20.
“It doesn’t change a lot for the gamers,” Baldissoni stated. “They’ll nonetheless have a break in January.”
Nonetheless, the Italian schedule has not gone fairly so far as the Premier League, which has no break in any respect and video games on Dec. 26, 27, 28, 30 and 31, plus Jan. 1, 2, three and four — which means groups will play three matches in little greater than every week.
However for a league fighting attendance, Italy is offering a chance for households to go to the stadium whereas faculty is on break.
A mean of twenty-two,177 followers attended Serie A matches final season, rating the league fourth in Europe behind the Bundesliga, English Premier League, and La Liga.
The German, Spanish, and French leagues nonetheless gained’t play over the past week of the yr. However different sports activities just like the NBA and NFL do.
“Not benefiting from this era and leaving it to different leagues means dropping competitively within the worldwide market so we’ve determined to become involved throughout this era,” Baldissoni stated.
It’s a well timed transfer, contemplating the Italian recreation is in dire want of a lift after the Azzurri’s failure to qualify for the World Cup for the primary time in six many years.
“It’s a strategy to attempt to increase the model worth of Serie A,” Baldissoni stated.
It additionally coincides with probably the most aggressive Serie A in years. Getting into this weekend’s…