National football association submits proposals for new sources of income.
- Italy currently has a blanket ban on gaming-related sponsorship and advertising partnerships domestically
- FIGC wants the regulations to be repealed for at least two years
- Other proposals include the Football Savings Fund and tax breaks
The Italian Football Association (FIGC) is pushing for the country’s betting and advertising ban to be temporarily lifted in order to create more revenue streams for football teams, given the financial cost of Covid-19.
Since implementation in 2019, the Italian government regulations have maintained a blanket ban on all gaming-related sponsorships and advertising partnerships for Italian sports organizations domestically. However, they are free to do business in overseas markets. One example of this is the contract between football giant Juventus and 10Bet, the club’s official gaming and betting partner.
Even so, professional sports teams across Italy are struggling to make up for the loss of earnings caused by the pandemic. This was particularly evident in Serie A, the top division of Italian football.
In May, league champions Inter Milan took out a reported â¬ 275 million ($ 327 million) loan from US Oaktree Capital Management to support the club’s finances, while Juventus recently raised up to â¬ 400 million in capital Euros (US $ 476 million confirmed). The latter also expects a record loss of 185 million euros (220 million US dollars) in 2020/21. after OffThePitch.
A change in the gambling sponsorship ban would likely secure new revenue for the teams, although the Italian government has already drawn up plans for further restrictions. This would reduce the number of gaming licenses in the country from 85 to 50 by 2023.
FIGC President Gabriele Gravina commented on the ban: âWe are at a crossroads; We must act quickly to prevent the professional football crisis from forcing the clubs to block their activities and with it the entire sports sector, the companies in the 12 product sectors that are linked to it, and the entire country system, with an undesirable decrease in direct and indirect tax contributions.
âWe have not asked the government for refreshments, but rather to recognize the socio-economic importance of football by taking some urgent measures to relieve the clubs from the crisis caused by Covid-19. Football can play a vital role in Italy’s overall recovery. “
FIGC proposes lifting the ban for at least two years by June 30, 2023. The organization also wants to see the establishment of a “Football Savings Fund”, which should also exist by the same date. This would allow one percent of all online and in-person sports betting in Italy to be sent to a national fund managed by FIGC and used to support football projects across the country.
Other measures determined by the FIGC include reservations on tax and contribution relief, easier access to measures to support the liquidity of sports clubs and “dedicated procedures” for the facility payments and the settlement of the football club’s tax debts with the Italian tax authorities.
The proposals were forwarded to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the representatives of the Ministries of Economy and Finance, Health and Economic Development and the Secretary of State for Sport.