Serie A - Italian top flight 'could be reduced to 18 teams'

Lega Serie A president Maurizio Beretta is “studying the possibility of reducing the top flight to 18 teams.”

Many people, including club Presidents and directors, have suggested the step up from 18 sides to 20 in 2004-05 damaged Serie A by packing the fixture list and reducing competitiveness. From 1967 to 1988, the Italian top flight had only 16 clubs.

“It is a matter we need to discuss in a much deeper way,” Beretta told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Clearly if we were to reduce the number of teams, as a consequence we’d also have to revise the mechanism of promotion and relegation.

“With just one relegation spot we’d get closer to the NBA system with more guarantees of revenue and a longer perspective in commercialising the League.

“However, Serie A is already an attractive League. Just look at Juventus-Roma, a wonderful game in a modern stadium bought by 52 licensed companies to air in 200 countries.

“There is a consolidation in pay-per-view television, as every round 9m people watch on the various platforms.

“There’s also a growth in ticket sales with an average of 24,000 spectators, almost 3 per cent more than in 2012-13.”