The Italian government saves Calcio

After weeks of discussions and polemics, after the Congress, this morning also the Italian Senate (with 107 votes in favor, 69 against and one abstention) approved the 2023 budget law. The ‘Manovra’ of 21 articles and 488 pages, will move 35,000 million euros and the vast majority of its measures will serve to support companies and families in the face of rising energy prices in international markets. And, among the beneficiaries, there will be soccer teams and sports companies in general.

The balance law finally included the “save Calcio” rule, for which Claudio Lotito, owner of Lazio and senator from the Forza Italia party, was fighting for last month. A battle won despite having two ministers against it and that is oxygen for the Serie A teams, who will be able to pay all the taxes they owe in 60 installments over the next five years. The sports clubs, between January 1 and October 22, 2022, were able to suspend the payment of various taxes (Irpf, VAT and additional communal and regional) thanks to a regulation of the last balance law due to the economic crisis caused because of the pandemic.

With the new measure, then, it will be possible for the clubs (and the companies that request it) to pay the corresponding taxes in 60 installments over five years, with a surcharge of 3% compared to the initial figure. The rule will cost the Italian state 889 million euros, 500 of which are related to Serie A teams alone. According to data from ‘Corriere della Sera’, for example, Inter has 50 million euros of pending payments, Lazio and Roma a similar figure, Juventus around 30 million, Napoli 25 and Milan 10.. What the Treasury will not receive in 2022, therefore, will have to be recovered between 2023 and 2027 with an increase of 26.67 million. The clubs will have to pay the first three installments during the next seven days, while the following ones will be paid month by month (skipping one would cause the facilitation to decline and sanctions).

The move caused much controversy. During the discussion of the law of balance, the senator of the Democratic Party Carlo Cottarelli defined it as “a gift to those who did not pay taxes.” Stefano Bandecchi, president of Ternana (a team that plays in Serie B) and national coordinator of the Alternativa Popolare party, was even more emphatic: “Only football can accumulate these debts and falsify the championships without consequences. I have paid everything, I will have less money to invest in the market, and someone now finds himself in his pocket 50 million more that he will pay over five years”. Andrea Abodi, Minister of Sport and Youth, for his part, defended the ‘save Calcio’, clarifying that “there will be no discounts”: “Clubs and companies will have to pay everything, with also interest. It’s not a gift.”

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The Italian government saves Calcio