Serie A: Golden era and current unpopularity: Reasons for its decline

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Serie A, the top Italian league, was once considered the best league in the world. The golden age won’t last forever, but the reality is that even after falling, there are no signs of it rising again. Why did Serie A become so unpopular that it fell into decline?

What is Serie A?

Serie A is an Italian professional soccer league founded in 1898. Serie A is one of the world’s five largest professional soccer leagues, along with France, England, Spain, and Germany. The tournament will be played in a home and away format between 20 clubs. The winning club receives 3 points; in the case of a draw, both clubs receive 1 point; the team with the most points wins. If two or more clubs have the same number of points, they will be placed in the same ranking regardless of goal difference.


What is Coppa Italia?

In addition to regular league matches, Italy also has a cup competition called Coppa Italia. It is a cup competition in which not only Serie A clubs but also lower-tier clubs can participate, and it is popular because it is prone to upheaval. It is a tournament format where the match is decided in one match, and if the match cannot be decided within 90 minutes, extra time is played, and if the match still continues, the match is decided in a penalty shootout.

Supercoppa Italiana

Supercoppa Italiana is the Italian Super Cup. The format of the tournament is a one-shot match between the previous season’s Serie A champion team and the Coppa Italia champion team. It’s like a prelude to the start of the season, and the games are held while fans are excited about the start of the new season.

History of Serie A

Serie A used to be a very strong soccer league. But why did it decline? We have briefly summarized its history, so let’s take a look.

early to late 1900s

In Serie A, in addition to the big three of Juventus, Milan, and Inter, mid-tier clubs such as Genoa, Roma, Fiorentina, Lazio, Napoli, Sampdoria, Turin, and Bologna were involved. This trend continued for a long time, but in the 1990s, an incident occurred that drastically changed the structure of the league.


From the mid-1990s, they benefited from the soaring price of broadcasting rights and the liberalization of foreign player recruitment following the Bosman ruling. From there, the big club group known as the Seven Sisters was formed: Juventus, Milan, Inter, Roma, Fiorentina, Parma, and Lazio. With the expansion of the calcio business bubble, Serie A reached its heyday with major reinforcements and the team joining the competition for the championship.

The downfall of a big club and the relegation of Juventus

Serie A, which was a powerful sport until the early 2000s, gradually lost momentum. The rise of the Premier League and the introduction of FFP in the 2010s led to the downfall of Milan and Inter. Inter and Milan, which were owner-managed, were strongly influenced by FFP. Juventus were relegated due to match-fixing. The Calcio Scandal, coupled with a drop in attendance and a failure to change generations, led to a decline in the league level and weakening of the national team, ushering in a dark era.


In the 2010s, Juventus returned to Serie A and became one of the top teams, making Serie A less attractive. However, it was Roma and Napoli that excited the league. In this era, this team was exciting Serie A by competing with Juventus. On the other hand, Milan’s traditionally big clubs had not yet found an opportunity to emerge.

A revival of Milan?

The Milanese industry had been in decline for a long time, but signs of recovery have been seen in the 2020s. After a change in ownership, the front team was revamped and the team structure was improved, and the team is gradually starting to regain its strength. Milan reclaimed the Scudetto in the 2021-2022 season, and Inter advanced to the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League final. Will Serie A be able to recover from now on?

What are the Seven Sisters?

From the 1990s to the early 2000s, Serie A, said to be the world’s top league, was a seven-team league known as the Seven Sisters. The Seven Sisters are the seven clubs Juventus, AC Milan, Inter, Roma, Fiorentina, Lazio and Parma. Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter were the traditional big clubs, but the rise of Roma, Fiorentina, Lazio, and Parma made it the toughest league in the world at the time. However, since the mid-2000s, Fiorentina, Lazio, Roma, and Parma have fallen into decline as they have incurred large amounts of debt and released key players.


Lazio is a professional soccer team based in Rome, but they are not a very popular team that has not won many titles. However, Lazio underwent major reinforcements by Sergio Cragnotti of the major food manufacturer Cilio, and suddenly became stronger. As a result, they became a team that could compete for the championship, but after that, due to austerity, they became a team that settled in the middle of the table.


Roma was originally considered to be a team second only to Italy’s Big 3, but under President Sensi they made major reinforcements and became stronger. Furthermore, Francesco Totti, who can be said to be a symbol of Rome, is in his prime, and the team has established itself as a powerhouse in Serie A. After that, they declined, but revived again in the 2010s and became a regular team in the Champions League.


Fiorentina was not originally a powerhouse. However, the team received major reinforcements from filmmaker Mario and his son Vittorio Cecchi Gori, and became recognized as a strong team.


Parma is a team that has rapidly become stronger after investing a huge amount of money under Calisto Tanzi of major food manufacturer Parmalat. However, in the case of Parma, they are considered to be an old team that has experienced a significant downturn since then and was demoted to the second division.

Reasons why Serie A has declined

As mentioned above, Serie A was at its peak of prosperity, but now it has declined significantly. Why has it fallen into decline? The reasons for this are as follows.

Aging stadium

When you watch Serie A live broadcasts, don’t you always find the seats empty? Serie A stadiums are being reclaimed, but because they are old, the quality of the facilities is poor and the environment is poor. As a result, there is a tendency for spectators to not attend. Although club teams are spending money to renovate their buildings, they are unable to carry out large-scale renovations because they do not have the income that they had in their heyday.

The audience seats are far from the pitch.

One of the reasons for the lack of spectators in Serie A is the distance between the seats and the pitch. Most stadiums are not dedicated to soccer and have athletic tracks, so they are very far away. Even if customers pay a lot of money, they won’t want to go to the stadium if they can’t see their seats. As a result, customers are losing customers.

relative decline in status

In the 2000s, the Premier League spent a huge amount of money buying up powerful players, and Real Madrid and Barcelona had the best players of all time, Messi and Ronaldo, so players who wanted to go to Serie A It has been reduced. Furthermore, due to the calcio scandal, the country’s dirty image became established, and it became common for talented players to go to Spain or England. Due to a lack of strength, they were unable to compete against other leagues.

lack of funds

Previously, Serie A had a decrease in income from broadcasting rights fees, but they later lost customers to the Premier League and their financial strength decreased significantly. Currently, Serie A’s broadcast rights revenue is less than half that of Premier League. This makes it difficult to attract talented players. They are now unable to compete with money-intensive teams like Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.

There are no promising Italians

The lack of promising Italian players also plays a role in Serie A’s downfall. During Serie A’s heyday, there were many world-class Italian players, and the team could aim to win the World Cup and the Euros. However, since winning the World Cup in 2006, Italy has not been able to win on the international stage. The Italian-dominated Serie A teams are also suffering.

signs of recovery

However, in recent years, signs of recovery have been seen, mainly among Milanese groups. Inter and Milan, who were struggling in the league due to the influence of FFP, reformed their front offices. Inter invited Giuseppe Marotta to become CEO, while Milan brought in club alumnus Paolo Maldini to reform the club. Partly because of this, both clubs are on the upswing in the 2020s, advancing to the top of the UEFA Champions League and even reaching the top of the league. Serie A could change.

Watch Serie A live

Serie A is one of the top leagues in the world. The event will be broadcast live on various video streaming services, so be sure to check it out.

ChannelPlanSoccer ContentsURL
DAZN3750national team
major europe leagues
J league
Hulu¥1026french league
dutch league
WOWOW2530UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
ABEMA TV¥960national team
World Cup
Premier League
scottish league
スカパー¥429 + ¥2480national team
emperor’s cup soccer
J SPORTS1100fifa world youthJ SPORTS


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