England & Spain are leagues ahead of Italy, says Capello

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
Photo: Paul Blank

Fabio Capello (Photo: Paul Blank)

Fabio Capello believes that Serie A has been left behind by the English and Spanish leagues in modern-day football.

The England manager, who was in Parma for a conference, spoke to Italian university students and explained that he believes that the Italian league’s inferiority stems from a number of different factors that are hindering the game’s development in Italy.

“Italian clubs are well set up ahead of their Champions League clashes with the English teams, but the English are on top in this moment,” he said.

The 63-year-old went on to state the reasons behind his opinion, which include the issue of stadium ownership in the Italian league.

“In Italy they [the stadiums] are property of the councils — this is a major handicap,” he continued. “In Spain and England it’s the clubs that own their facilities and that adds value in today’s football where the players also belong to the clubs.”

“Football stadiums abroad are more comfortable, but each country has it’s own style of football. In Italy it’s the result that counts, in Spain it’s more of a South American game and in England it’s more physical. Each one is a different sporting world.”

The former Real Madrid and Juventus manager also stated that he believes that the crowd trouble and match-fixing scandals that have dominated Italian football in recent years are to blame for the devaluing of TV rights and merchandising in his native homeland.

“Television rights for the English and Spanish championships are more valuable than Italy’s because when you see bad things, half-empty stadiums, it’s normal that people are put off,” he added.

“In England security is always at a maximum: nothing serious ever happens. The stewards, who have a great deal of responsibility, protect the crowds.

“Ten minutes before a game in England the stadiums are almost empty because the public are in the restaurants knowing that they have their own seat ready for them.”

Discussing the crowd trouble involving ‘ultras’, Capello said: “In Italy we have a slice of fans who want to be at the centre of attention. They should be ignored by television as they are in England.”

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