by forum member ACMILAN1983
Ask many involved in Italian football and even many fans “What is the future of Serie A and Italian football?” and often the response will be rather dismissive or the question might even be considered offensive. However, it’s hard to deny that this is a question that should be asked regularly, if simply to take an introspective look into the future of calcio and its growth.
Now, in a period when Italian football is at best considered to be in a state of transition or at worst considered to be in a state of unrecoverable decline, more than ever it seems this question needs to be asked. For the Italian game to return to its former glory, it would seemingly make sense that the issues within the game, both sporting and administrative, be assessed and the positive trends studied to work out a long term project to help the long term development of Italian football both in Italy and at a global level.
The first point of interest would surely be to take a look at Italy’s competitiveness, both domestically, but also throughout Europe and on the International stage. Serie A, like most major leagues in Europe, appears to suffer from having distinct sub groups in the larger league. For example, it’s generally been assumed that Juventus and Roma will fight for the Scudetto, while a number of teams including Milan, Inter, Napoli and Fiorentina will fight for third spot and Europa League places. At the other end of the table it is assumed the likes of Chievo, Sassuolo and the newly promoted teams from Serie B, Cesena, Empoli and Palermo, will generally be fighting a relegation battle. So far this season has pretty much followed the expected pattern, although with the odd anomalies such as Sampdoria exceeding expectations or Parma at the bottom of the table.
While the predictability does little to determine the quality of the league, more questions are asked when the top teams are playing in Europe. Juventus for years have been considered by some distance the best team in Serie A and have been regularly considered outside bets for Champions League success, yet in Europe have continually underwhelmed, most recently with the loss to Olympiakos. Roma too are under great scrutiny, as it was widely believed the investments made during the summer would help them compete with Juventus in Serie A and make headway in Europe, only for them to be humiliated 7-1 in the Champions League by Bayern Munich.