MILAN – The Italian league has postponed discussions over a strike threat from the players because too many Serie A presidents failed to show up at a meeting Friday.
Instead, the league said Italian football federation president Giancarlo Abete will address Monday the biggest sticking point in the contract: a proposal that would allow clubs to force players no longer wanted to train away from the first team or accept a transfer.
''I've always been more than confident, I'm convinced that if common sense prevails the strike will be avoided,'' said Serie A president Maurizio Beretta.
Beretta added that the players should also stop protesting over a new government austerity tax that applies to high-wage earners.
Earlier this month, captains of all 20 clubs signed a document threatening a strike if the contract is not signed before the Aug. 27-28 start of the season.
The conflict between the players and the league has been ongoing since the last collective contract expired in June 2010.
The players set two strike dates during the first half of last season, both of which were avoided with last-minute verbal agreements.
Among those missing at the league meeting were Milan vice president Adriano Galliani, Cagliari president Massimo Cellino, Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini and Lazio president Claudio Lotito - who is banned.