Serie A strike called off as compromise agreement reached

AC Milan celebrate
The first round of Serie A matches was called off

The Italian Players' Union (AIC) has called off a strike after reaching an agreement with Serie A's governing body over a collective contract.

A temporary deal has been signed which will expire at the end of the season.

The dispute has centred on two issues: the payment of a solidarity tax - the players have now agreed to pay this - and the fate of players forced to train on their own when dropped.

The resolution means the new Serie A season will start this weekend.

"It was worth having such a tough negotiation because the clubs have achieved much of what they wanted," said Serie A president Maurizio Beretta.

The first round of matches, scheduled to take place just over a week ago, were postponed.

The Serie A campaign will begin on Friday night, with champions AC Milan hosting Lazio.

The clubs had earlier rejected an Italian FA proposal to resolve the matter and the AIC remains unhappy about clubs trying to force players to move in the last year of their contracts.

But the temporary agreement is designed to allow the season to begin while the two parties continue to debate the major sticking points.

AIC president Damiano Tommasi said the players had compromised.

"We're going to play and I think that's thanks to the players for their good sense in these negotiations," he commented.

"If, as Beretta has said, the clubs have achieved a lot, then it means we won't have much to discuss for the new contract that will replace this bridging deal."