The deadline is approaching. The “Lotito” amendment is not liked. There is also discussion on the criminal “shield”. At stake are the 480 million suspended payments. There is no agreement but it is negotiable to the bitter end
The half-billion in deferred taxes to pay is still the nightmare of professional football. The deadline of December 22nd is approaching and the push and pull on the methods of paying in installments, probably the path that the majority of clubs will choose, is still ongoing. On the one hand, the Serie A League which asks for payments spread without interest and penalties, on the other the government led by Giorgia Meloni which says no, or rather specifies: football and all sport must be treated like all other areas of the life of the Village. Translated: at the moment the most probable prospect is that the clubs will have to pay a 3% fine on various tax and social security fronts to access the installment mechanism over 5 years.
Let’s rewind the tape. In the Senate budget commission, eight days ago, the president of the Serie A League Lorenzo Casini had gone on the attack, denouncing the contradiction between the previous provisions, the suspension of payments to safeguard the liquidity of the system exhausted by the losses of Covid, and the aut aut of these weeks, with the obligation to pay everything and therefore to let in through the window what you had kicked out the door, that is the money to keep a heavily indebted system going. The speech was more or less this: by asking us everything and everything together, you frustrate the breath of fresh air that you had allowed us to have before.
In the last few hours, the so-called Lotito amendment, which provides for a zero-cost installment, has tried to build a bipartisan majority to respond to the emergency. A similar text had been proposed by Daniele Manca of the Democratic Party. But sports minister Andrea Abodi, and the government is with him, doesn’t want to embrace the idea of what he considers a privilege for a sector. “Football and sport are not worlds apart. Why do we stubbornly and antisocially look for a solution that is not systemic. We need a pact with society that does not put these worlds above them. And I have the task of protecting the relationship of trust between sports institutions and the community”. Moral: if the string of ad hoc requests is pulled too far, there is also the possibility of a “risk of disaffection”.
In short, the amendment to the aid quater decree law should not go far, at least according to what is heard in the most informed government and parliamentary circles. The text must be approved by January 18th. He is currently in the Budget Committee (of which Claudio Lotito is the vice president) and it is here that the amendments game will be played. First it will be necessary to verify its admissibility, then it will be possible to vote and therefore the decree will be approved for the two parliamentary steps, first in the Senate and then in the Chamber (where it will presumably arrive armored and therefore without the possibility of change to avoid the forfeiture of the decree which must be converted into law within 60 days). A measure that will in any case run parallel to the discussion on the budget law which, on the other hand, must be approved by the end of this year.
However, there is another issue on the agenda. Percentage and penalties aside, there is another risk, an issue on which the clubs would like at least a credit opening to avoid running into a complaint from INPS for non-payment. In practice, says the League, the authorization mechanism of installments must be simplified. Otherwise, failing to pay by February 16, you would risk criminal and sporting penalties. For this reason, among the hypotheses a sort of “criminal shield” was also hypothesized. On this point, there must be an ongoing discussion. In any case, there won’t be any specific life preserver, any “shield” would work for all businesses. And that is why there is a certain caution about this. In this case, however, the key interlocutor is the Ministry of Justice, called upon to find a balance between “fiscal peace” and “penal peace” for those who respect the commitments undertaken with the Revenue Agency.
Between football and the government, however, despite the distances, there is no climate of imminent rupture. This is confirmed by a series of contacts, including of a technical nature, to arrive at a solution that can in any case reduce the impact of the imminent deadline. Also because the installment plan is not the only open front in the relationship with the institutions. The famous “pact” mentioned by Minister Abodi is still to be built.
December 6 – 00:17
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