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Serie A season ‘must end here’ because of coronavirus – Sampdoria president

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The Blucerchiati official discussed the Italian top flight and if the 2019-20 season should resume following Covid-19

Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero said the Serie A season “must end here” as it would be pointless to restart the league without fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Serie A was suspended indefinitely last month due to the spread of Covid-19, and authorities have insisted they will not even consider resuming action until it is safe to do so.

It remains to be seen if and when the 2019-20 campaign returns but matches behind closed doors are almost a certainty in Italy, where more than 17,600 people have died from coronavirus.

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“Let’s organise ourselves to say that this championship must end here and now,” Ferrero told Telenord.

“I say it with a heavy heart, because I do want to resume, but only when I can see our beautiful stadium with fans beating their drums.

“I saw Sampdoria-Verona behind closed doors and it hurt my soul to see it played in silence. How can you celebrate a result in that desolate landscape?

“Why bother playing a game without fans, the colours all around, the noise and cheering, this is football, this is entertainment and 90 minutes of pure adrenaline. A game without fans, what even is it?”

Sampdoria were 16th and only a point above the relegation zone after 25 games when Serie A came to a halt last month.

The last Serie A game before the league’s postponement was on March 9 when Sassuolo defeated Brescia 3-0.

Players’ salaries during the health crisis are also in question, with the Italian Footballers’ Association (AIC) rejecting a proposal from Serie A clubs to cut wages by up to a third.

On Monday, Italian top-flight clubs voted in favour of temporarily reducing player wages in an attempt to ease the financial strain caused by the Covid-19 disaster.

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With Serie A’s hiatus impacting clubs financially, league-wide pay cuts for players and coaching staff had been mooted, however the AIC slammed the plan.

“The AIC Board of Directors, meeting today for their usual weekly meeting, which was followed by a meeting with the representatives of the Serie A teams, deemed the proposal put forward by Lega Serie A and B to be inadmissible,” the statement read.

“The behaviour of the leagues is incomprehensible at a time like this. The desire, not so much implied, of wanting to dump on the players, putting them in a bad light, the economic damage resulting from the crisis situation, is a fact that makes you reconsider the entrepreneurial credibility of those who should be ferrying the football system at this difficult time.”

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