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Groundshare for Italian clubs

The Stadio Nereo Rocco in Trieste will host two Italian Serie A teams temporarily next season. One will be Udinese. The club is upgrading the Stadio Friuli after the city council granted them a 99 year lease. The stadium will have a 25,000 seat capacity. At the launch of the stadium, Udinese’s owner, Giampaolo Pozzo, said:

We want to disconnect the TV from our supporters and bring them to the stadium to be close to the team. This is the only formula to improve and gain points in the standings. The decision to build a stadium for 25,000 spectators is adequate and compares well to the catchment area of our club. We can satisfy all our needs.

The other is Cagliari. The club is waiting to do a deal with the local authority to play in its home town in Sardinia. It played at temporary homes most of last season.

The ground share highlights Italian soccer’s lack of facilities. A new rule means that clubs must have evidence they can use a stadium for all their home fixtures before registering for the Serie A League. The league will also need to overcome the crowd problems it has experienced in 2013. Lecce fans went on the rampage after their play-off defeat. Football Italia reported that ultras invaded the pitch and physically attacked the stewards who were trying to stop them breaking into the locker rooms. The players had just about been able to sprint off the field before the situation deteriorated.

Udinese is developing its stadium and temporarily playing away.

Udinese is developing its stadium and temporarily playing away.