Brussels, 13 October 2005
Commission closes case against Italy on accounting rules for professional sports clubs (“Salva-Calcio”)
The European Commission has decided to close the infringement procedure against Italy regarding its “Salva-Calcio” law on financial reporting by professional sports clubs. The Commission considers that recent amendments to the “Salva-Calcio” law mean that it no longer breaches EU accounting laws.
In February 2003, Italy adopted the “Salva-Calcio” Act allowing some professional sports clubs to write off a number of athletes' contracts over a longer period than their useful economic life, i.e. longer that the term of the contract. The effect of this Act was that some professional sports clubs, especially major football clubs for which players' contracts are the biggest item of expenditure, may have been able to submit accounts which gave a misleading picture to investors. The Commission considered that financial statements presented in such a manner could not show a true and fair view of the club’s assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss, departing from the requirements laid down in the 4th (78/660/EEC) and 7th (83/349/EEC) Council Directives (Accounting Directives) on companies’ annual and consolidated accounts.
In July 2004, the Commission decided to ask Italy formally to change its “Salva-Calcio” law (see IP/04/854). This request took the form of a “reasoned opinion”, the second stage of the infringement procedures laid down in Article 226 of the EC Treaty.
The modifications were introduced and the “Salva-Calcio” Act was
repealed by legislative Decree n°115 of 30 June 2005, confirmed by Law
n°168 of 17 August 2005.