Serie A loses out to EPL and Spain: Baresi

by AFP on May 16, 2011

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Ex-Italian star Franco Baresi says Serie A is losing out to the English Premier League and Spain's La Liga because Italian sides do not own their stadiums and players earn more money elsewhere.

After a year in which Italian teams failed to make a serious impact in Europe, former AC Milan defender Baresi said: "There are two reasons why the quality is suffering in the Italian league.

"First, compared to England, the English clubs own their own stadiums, which is one main source of revenue. This is not the case in Italy.

"Second, in Spain it is a very positive tax situation for players, so they can earn more money than in Italy."

But Baresi, 51, who was in Hong Kong to launch AC Milan Soccer Schools in southern China, said Italian teams - including AC Milan, who went tumbling out of the Champions League to Spurs - have merely been unlucky in Europe.

"Last year, Inter Milan won the Champions League but sometimes it just depends on the period when the match is played," he said.

"AC were unlucky against Tottenham - I think Italian teams are at the standard European level compared to other clubs."