Italian FA chief: Salernitana booted from Serie A if not sold in 2021

by Agence France-Presse
Ivan Romano / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Rome, Dec 21, 2021 (AFP) - Salernitana's troubles got deeper on Tuesday after Italian football chief Gabriele Gravina said the Serie A club must be sold by the end of the year or be kicked out of the league.

Promoted to Italy's top flight this season, Salernitana immediately fell foul of Italian Football Federation (FIGC) rules because they are owned by Claudio Lotito, who also owns Lazio.

Independent directors were appointed in June to organise the club's sale by December 31 but said last week that they had not received good bids and requested a new deadline.

Serie A clubs unanimously voted on Thursday for a postponement of the deadline until the end of the season, but Gravina said after the final FIGC council meeting of 2021 that there would be no extension.

"There is no new ruling. All I did was read the notary deed which provides for the exclusion of Salernitana from Serie A should the club's shares not be sold," Gravina told reporters.

"I hope Salernitana find a buyer before December 31, otherwise the deed is very clear."

The news comes as Salernitana announced that they would not travel to Udine for Tuesday evening's Serie A match after positive Covid cases in the club.

Serie A earlier confirmed that Salernitana's match at Udinese will not be postponed despite health authorities in Salerno requesting the squad not leave for northeastern Italy.

Serie A told AFP that the "match remains scheduled" for 1730 GMT on Tuesday and that "it will be the sporting judges who decide" the outcome once the fixture is not be fulfilled.

The game not being called off leaves Serie A open to rows similar to those which surrounded Napoli's shelved trip to Juventus late last year and Lazio's match at Torino in the Spring.

In both cases the home team were at the stadium, ready to play while knowing the opposition would not be arriving, and each time the team originally considered to have forfeited the match were eventually cleared of any wrong-doing.