I ORGANISATION OF SPORTS CLUBS AND SPORTS GOVERNING BODIES
i Organisational form
The Italian Olympic Committee is the highest authority of the Italian sports system, defined as the Confederation of National Sports Federations and Associated Sports Disciplines (CONI).2 CONI is committed to organising, overseeing and promoting national sport, representing the Italian sports movement during the Olympic Games.
The National Sports Federations (FSNs) and the Associated Sports Disciplines (DSAs) are non-profit associations with legal personality regulated under private laws with their own regulations and statutes in compliance with the provisions of the affiliated International Sports Federations, the Olympic Charter and the directives issued by the International Olympic Committee and CONI.3 The FSNs and DSAs must obtain the recognition by CONI to manage – on an exclusive basis – a sport in Italy and represent it abroad.
The main characters of the Italian sports industry are the associations and companies, both professional and amateur, in addition to the athletes, managers, coaches, athletic trainers and sporting doctors.
ii Corporate governance
After the enactment of Law No. 190 of 6 November 2012 (the Anti-Corruption Law), in 2013, CONI introduced the Code of Sporting Conduct, setting out the fundamental, mandatory and binding duties of loyalty, fairness and probity that must be met by each operator in the Italian sports industry.4 In order to ensure the above duties, CONI introduced the figure of the 'guarantor' that reports any cases of suspected violation to the competent bodies for disciplinary matters. In 2014, CONI reformed the Italian sports justice system, by modifying the Sports Justice Code,5 adopting a comprehensive regulation of sports procedures with the introduction of two new bodies: the General Public Prosecutor's Office and the Sports Supreme Court.
iii Corporate liability
Sports companies and associations are liable for the offences committed by those who represent them, as their directors, unless they can prove they have taken all possible precautions to avoid such offences.6 For the purpose of setting up this responsibility, the highest body of sports justice stated the following: 'The Sports Justice Code punishes, ... by way of strict liability, the company with which the subject considered the author of the unlawful sporting conduct, is registered, regardless of the fact that this offence is the result of behaviours involving the same company.'
The company's strict liability shall be recognised 'even when the unlawful conduct committed by one of its members is counterproductive to the fate of the company, such as when a member is held responsible for contributing to altering the outcome of a match to the detriment of their own team'.7
II THE DISPUTE RESOLUTION SYSTEM
i Access to courts
Italian access to sports justice takes place through the affiliation process: the act of affiliation allows the option to resort and subject a person or an entity to sports courts. In essence, the sporting justice obligation stems from the provision of Article 2 of Decree No. 220 of 19 August 2003,8 which governs the independence of the Italian sports legal system. Briefly, sports judges (under the CONI, federations and associations umbrella) are competent for the following issues: (1) the observance and application of the regulatory, organisational and statutory provisions of the national sports system and its articulations in order to guarantee the correct performance of sports activities; and (2) all matters related to disciplinary sporting sanctions.
Upon exhaustion of internal sports remedies – and without prejudice to the jurisdiction of the ordinary judge for economic disputes between companies, associations and athletes – any other matter relating to acts issued by CONI or any national federations that is not dedicated to the above-mentioned sports judges, shall be referred to the exclusive jurisdiction of the administrative judge. In the case of non-compliance (i.e., should an affiliate refer an issue to the ordinary courts), the affiliate might be seriously sanctioned, or banned, from the sport association concerned. The relationship between the ordinary and the sporting justice system has always been a vexed question9 and one that was recently questioned in a judicial order of the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio (TAR Lazio).10
Nevertheless, the ability to resort to sports judicial proceedings is specifically regulated by CONI's Sports Justice Code,11 which establishes sports judges in each federation, namely the national sports judge, the local sports judges, the Sport Court of Appeal, the Federal Tribunal and the Federal Court of Appeals.12
ii Sports arbitration
In consideration of the constitutional principle of prohibition of special jurisdiction, in Italy, arbitration is seen as an adequate vehicle to preserve the independence of the sports system13 and ensure compliance with the regulations and principles of the federations. Arbitration is generally applied to resolve disputes in connection with economic rights and labour relationships. To this extent, it is explicitly mentioned in Article 4 of Law No. 91 of 2 March 198114 that an arbitration clause shall be inserted in employment contracts, requiring that the disputes shall be brought before a panel constituted according to the applicable collective bargaining agreement. The functioning of such arbitration before the football leagues is regulated by specific procedural rules that are attached to the relevant collective bargaining agreement. For the sake of clarity, all professional players, coaches or trainers have their own collective bargaining agreement of reference and relevant competent arbitration panel. The latter renders awards directly enforceable through the competent league and federation.
Arbitral awards have contractual power between the parties and can be directly enforced only within the federation, otherwise they should be lodged with a special procedure before the ordinary court, pursuant to Articles 566 and 808 of the Italian Civil Procedural Code, in order to become final and binding.
III ORGANISATION OF SPORTS EVENTS
i Relationship between organiser and spectator
Italian law15 regulates a tripartite relationship in connection with sporting events, composed of the organiser, the athletes (amateur or professional) and the public. The organiser can be identified as a business entrepreneur, pursuant to Article 2195 of the Italian Civil Code. The organiser's main goal is the management of the entire event, which is legally considered an economic activity, and should entail the following features: (1) a lease agreement or ownership of the premises in which the event is held; (2) presence of a public performance with an uncertain outcome; and (3) differences of juridical relationships depending on whether the event is indoor or outdoor.
ii Relationship between organiser and athletes or clubs
The leagues16 (i.e., the organisers) are associations that represent and protect the interests of the affiliated sports companies. The latter are assisted in the stipulation of the standard labour agreements between athletes and professional and amateur clubs. In addition, the leagues also advise on issues related to corporate organisation, communication and administrative management, as well as centralised marketing activities aimed at selling the sporting product.
iii Liability of the organiser
Organisers can be persons (rarely), entities (in the form of stock or limited companies), non-recognised associations or committees that 'assume all liabilities (civil, criminal and administrative) within the country's legal system and promote the gathering of one or more athletes with the aim of achieving a result in one or more sporting activities regardless of the public dimension of the show'. Generally, organisers are subject to a 'civil liability' pursuant to Article 2043 of the Italian Civil Code. Such liability is connected to the main obligation of the organiser promoting the competition, ensuring the power of control and direction. The organiser's main obligation is to monitor the event, whether it is a single competition or a tournament. Further, the organiser has the obligation to guarantee the presence of the police at the event and ensure: (1) the suitability and safety of the location and facilities, including the technical means in use, whether or not supplied by the organiser; and (2) the athletes' aptitude to participate in the competition, both in terms of experience and psychophysical conditions.
iv Liability of the athletes
Each athlete assumes the conscious risk of exposing him or herself to events that may cause him or her damage (i.e., the 'allowed risk'). The Civil Supreme Court has ruled that compliance with the rules governing each sporting discipline is the fundamental principle in order for sporting conduct not to be punished. Therefore, to be exempt from criminal sanctions, any detrimental sporting conduct must be committed in compliance with the sportsperson's duty of loyalty.17
v Liability of the spectators
The Sports Supreme Court, in its decision No. 42 of 3 September 2015, established that clubs are also liable – by way of strict liability – for the conduct of their spectators. The Sports Supreme Court has specified that it is necessary to guarantee a broad interpretation of the concept of spectator, thus including all those who operate in a 'supportive environment' to the team. Clubs are also liable for the presence of discriminatory banners (even when banners discriminate between different regional traditions) within the stadium.18
vi Riot prevention
The Italian parliament began developing legislation to strengthen the fight against hooliganism in 1989 by enacting Law No. 401 of 13 December 1989.19 One of the most important implementations was the 'prohibition of access to sporting events' (DASPO),20 which is a measure of prevention, restrictive on personal freedom, to tackle the growing phenomenon of violence in football stadiums; subsequently, also extended to other sports. The DASPO measure can be issued to spectators found guilty of violent acts during, inter alia, sporting events, by the Commissioner (chief of police) or by a judge at the end of proceedings. If issued by the Commissioner, it applies as an administrative measure entailing the prohibition of access to areas, or areas adjacent to, where sporting events are taking place, for a period of between one and five years. If issued by a judge, it has a stronger limitation on freedom of movement and has also recently been compared to the anti-mafia administrative orders.21
IV COMMERCIALISATION OF SPORTS EVENTS
i Types of and ownership in rights
The new law regulating the ownership of broadcasting rights on sports events and related marketing was passed in the form of dedicated legislation: Law No. 106 of 19 July 2007, which defined the aims, principles and criteria of the new discipline, directing the government to issue a legislative decree defining and setting the new regulations.22 The Italian government accomplished the task with the Melandri Decree (Legislative Decree No. 9 of 9 January 2008), which has introduced the concept of joint ownership of the right to broadcast the sports events by the competition organiser (i.e., the league) and the event organiser (i.e., a club).23 In concrete terms, the Melandri reform assigned to the league the leading role of exclusive licensor of the audiovisual rights.24
Pursuant to Article 25 of the Decree, the allocation of resources among the parties in each competition is carried out in such a way as to guarantee the equal allocation of a prevalent share insured by the assignment of broadcasting rights. In this regard, Law No. 205 of 27 December 2017 (the Budget Law 2017) changed the allocation of the resources, ensuring greater economic stability.25
ii Rights protection
The protection reserved for images is derived from the joint provisions of Article 10 of the Italian Civil Code and from the Italian Copyright Law.26 The Civil Code establishes that if an image is displayed or published except when consented by law (or such display causes prejudice to the reputation of the person concerned), the judicial authorities may order the abuse to cease and award compensation for damages. In addition, Article 96 of the Copyright Law states that a person's likeness shall not be displayed, sold or reproduced without the individual's consent, which can, however, be subsequently withdrawn at any time.27
In relation to registered trademarks and club symbols, these are protected under Articles 2569 and 2574 of the Civil Code, and Article 23 of Legislative Decree No. 30/2005, in order to avoid unfair competition. In the case of infringement, the judicial authorities may injunct against further infringements and award compensation for damages.
iii Contractual provisions for exploitation of rights
The consent to the use of an athlete's image can be expressed in their contract; however, remaining separate from it. In addition, the consent can be subsequently withdrawn at any time without incurring any contractual liability.28
The right to use an athlete's image may be licensed and assigned. Some limitations may exist to such right, as, for example, in football: outside of football activity, the exploitation of image rights is freely negotiable by each player (observing some limitations related to the club's sponsorship agreements), while, with respect to football activity and related activities (as the club's representation), clubs can sign promotional and advertising agreements with third parties. Part of the profits are allocated to the players according to minimum percentages under the Convention in force on the regulation of advertising and promotional activities, unless negotiated individually.29
The sponsorship agreement is not a typified contract, since it is not expressly regulated by the Italian Civil Code. Therefore, the related discipline is reconstructed using the general rules and principles on contracts. In the sports system, according to the specific relationship between the sponsor and the sponsee, there can be the following general categories: naming sponsor,30 official sponsor, official supplier31 and technical sponsor.32
Merchandising agreements, given their specificity and structure, are protected in Italy by the Code of Industrial Property,33 the Italian Civil Code (with the provisions on counterfeiting and unfair competition)34 and the Italian Penal Code (with the provisions on counterfeiting crime and trademark usurpation).35 The Italian Financial Guard has enhanced its checks in cooperation with the sports institutions in order to limit the sale of counterfeited products to the public.36
V PROFESSIONAL SPORTS AND LABOUR LAW
i Mandatory provisions
Under Italian law, the sports employment relationship between clubs and professional athletes is regulated by Law No. 91 of 23 March 1981. Such mandatory labour law states the definition of professionals, which includes athletes, coaches, sporting directors and athletic trainers, who perform sporting activities under remuneration on an ongoing basis within the disciplines governed by CONI, as well as the qualifying intervention carried out by the FSNs. Indeed, the federations that have obtained the qualification of professional sporting federation are the following: the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the Italian Cycling Federation, the Italian Golf Federation and the Italian Basketball Federation.
Professional athletes' performances are regulated by employment contracts through direct recruitment. Such contracts must be drafted in writing in the standard form set out in the collective bargaining agreement and filed within the respective federation (Article 4 of Law No. 91/81). Any departure from the standard form will be deemed null and void. The term of employment in professional contracts can be up to a maximum of five years (Article 5 of Law No. 91/81).37 An arbitration clause must be included in the contract with respect to the interpretation, execution and any dispute resolution related to the employment agreements. Further, the employment contracts shall not include provisions that could in any manner limit the freedom of work and movement of professional athletes. It is also possible to have a self-employment contract, subject to the fulfilment of one of the following conditions: (1) the sporting performance is related to only one sporting event; (2) the athlete is not contractually bound concerning the frequency of training; or (3) the sporting performance does not exceed eight hours a week; five days each month; or 30 days each year.38
Any professional player is covered by a mandatory retirement and disability insurance as per Law No. 366 of 14 June 1973. The social security contributions are calculated with regard to the player's annual gross salary and distributed in the following proportions: (1) two-thirds shall be payable by the registering club; and (2) one-third shall be payable by the player. In any event, the contributions shall be payable in their entirety by the club, which may then withhold the corresponding amount from the player's salary.
ii Free movement of athletes
EU law applies to both professional and amateur athletes with respect to their right of free movement, by prohibiting any discrimination based on nationality, or any obstacle that may hinder such right.
With specific regard to football, the FIGC has adopted the 'locally trained rule', which imposes clubs to have a certain number of home-grown athletes, according to UEFA indications. Accordingly, the squad list of any first division club (National Professional League Serie A), must adhere to some specific criteria.39
VI SPORTS AND ANTITRUST LAW
The operators of the Italian sports industry, such as clubs and consumers, must comply with antitrust rules. In this regard, the Italian Competition Authority has recently launched two investigative proceedings (PS11232_PS11233) for alleged unfair commercial practices and potential violations of consumer rights, provided for in Articles 21, 24 and 25 of the Consumer Code, against Sky Italia Srl and Perform Group, better known as DAZN, for the commercialisation of football match packages for the 2018/2019 season.
The Competition Authority has also reopened an investigation (No. A378E) against the Italian Federation of Equestrian Sports, in order to verify their failure to comply with commitments made in 2011, pursuant to Law No. 287/90. The assessment will determine the violation of Articles 101 or 102, or both, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), carried out by means of conduct aimed at preventing the performance of amateur equestrian events and competitions by competing sports organisations.40
Lastly, the sanction of over €3 million imposed by the Competition Authority on the FIGC in proceeding No. I812 for the violation of Article 101 TFEU, deriving from unjustified restrictions (not imposed by FIFA and UEFA) on access to certain qualified professionals within football clubs; in particular, to sports directors, scouts and match analysts, 'in the absence of any specific legislation and, indeed, in a regulatory framework for the liberalisation of economic activities'.41
VII SPORTS AND TAXATION
i Professional athletes
Any remuneration paid by a club to a professional player (Italian or foreign) for their sporting performance is to be considered employment income and taxed accordingly under Article 49 of the Italian Tax Code (TUIR).42 The club acts as withholding agent. The remuneration of a professional player can consist of both a fixed and a variable amount. According to Article 51.6 TUIR, the variable amount – also known as a bonus – is also considered employment equivalent to 50 per cent of the relative amount. In addition, the benefits (such as housing or car) are also employment income (Article 51.3 TUIR).
ii Tax regime of income of professional athletes' image rights
Income connected to the sale or assignment of professional athletes' image rights, if the remuneration is due to the player who directly grants the use of his or her image to the club (in particular, whether or not it is related to a sporting performance or it refers to the exploitation of his or her personal image) is also considererd as employment income.
Remuneration due to the player who grants the sponsor the use of his or her image is considered: (1) self-employment income, if promotional activities are exercised on a permanent and professional basis;43 or (2) 'other income', if promotional activities are not exercised on a permanent and professional basis.
iii The substitute tax regime for newly Italian tax residents
Article 1.152-159 of the Budget Law 2017 introduced a new special tax regime for individuals moving tax residence to Italy, providing for a substitute tax on foreign-source income equal to €100,000.44 The regime applies on an optional basis and for its application it requires details of: (1) the actual transfer of the tax residence in Italy, and (2) the foreign fiscal residence prior to the transfer in at least nine of the ten tax periods preceding the start of the option period. Particularly in relation to superstar players with significant amounts of foreign income, this substitute tax regime could become very attractive.
iv Amateur athletes
The income of amateur athletes is subject to preferential income tax treatment. The Budget Law 2017 introduced important innovations in this respect: no imposition for income below €10,000 per year, increasing the previous annual threshold of €7,500. Any income above €10,000 is subject to a tax rate of 23 per cent.
VIII SPECIFIC SPORTS ISSUES
Anti-doping in Italy runs on a double track: the disciplinary and the criminal one. From a sporting perspective, doping conduct falls within the relevant sports association jurisdiction with the application of the specific association's anti-doping regulations and the World Anti-Doping Agency rules and principles at an international level. Moreover, under Italian law, doping is also considered a criminal offence and punished pursuant to Law No. 376 of 14 December 200045 with severe penalties including imprisonment.
Law Decree No. 87 of 12 July 2018 (the Dignity Decree)46 has been enacted recently to fight gambling addiction, including in sporting and cultural events, by banning: (1) the advertising of gambling and betting related to services and products, and (2) betting and gambling providers from advertising via the media (including TV, radio, the internet and social media platforms) and on billboards.47 Unlawful sponsorship and advertising may give rise to fines to the advertising contractors, calculated as the higher of 5 per cent of the value of the deal or a lump-sum of €50,000.48 The Italian Communications Regulatory Authority is in charge of monitoring compliance with the new legislation and has the power to sanction those in breach. All sums raised from administrative fines will be allocated to fund the expenses of the Italian Ministry of Health.
Match-fixing is considered a criminal offence and is regulated by Law No. 401/1989, specifying that it concerns match-fixing offering a benefit to the participant with the specific intention of manipulating the competition result even if the offer is not accepted (Article 1).49 The aim of such provision is to guarantee fair play while tackling illegal sports betting, which has often been linked to criminal organisations. In addition to the consideration of match-fixing as a criminal offence, match-fixing is regulated by the CONI Sports Justice Code as a disciplinary violation.
iv Grey market sales
One of the most relevant grey market sales issues in Italy concerns 'secondary ticketing'. Such phenomenon is punished by Law No. 232/2016, which empowers the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority to monitor the secondary market sale of events' ticketing. Offenders may be sanctioned with fines of up to €180,000.
IX THE YEAR IN REVIEW
In a landmark decision, on 4 October 2018,50 the Italian Council of Ministers reserved to the jurisdiction of the TAR Lazio disputes concerning the admission and exclusion from professional competitions of companies or professional sports associations, thus excluding the jurisdiction of the sports justice bodies.
Article 1,373 of Budget Law 2017 enacted a new regulatory scheme for sports agents, requiring them to be registered with CONI, which will establish a national register for professional sports as of 2019. The new law reintroduces a mandatory exam divided into two tests: one under the supervision of CONI and a second to be taken before the respective national federation under which the sports agent intends to operate.51
Tar Lazio has confirmed the competence of the Italian Historical Automoto Club to organise tourist events without the prior approval of the Automobile Club of Italy,52 which is a national sports federation recognised by CONI with respect to sport automotive activity.
The Italian Supreme Court53 assessed the criminal liability of the manager of a football pitch for failing to provide the appropriate maintenance of the pitch. The Supreme Court stated that it is not the referee's responsibility to guarantee the safety of the football field, but only to verify its practicability for the match.
X OUTLOOK AND CONCLUSIONS
The Italian sports industry shall face significant reforms in the following months considering, for example, the direct involvement of the government as regards the revision of competence for the sports justice bodies and the new regulations on sports agents' activity. Further, given the insolvency procedures affecting professional football clubs every season, a new set of financial rules could be enacted as integration of the existing domestic licence system or the UEFA financial fair play regulations. The intention is to guarantee more stability and transparency, while the candidature jointly filed by Milan and Cortina for hosting the 2026 Winter Olympic Games aims at giving new momentum for the entire Italian industry (also in terms of investment and infrastructure).
1 Edoardo Revello and Marco Vittorio Tieghi are managing directors and co-founders of SportsGeneration Srl, Antonio Rocca is managing director and founder of AR Sports & Law and Federico Venturi Ferriolo is an associate at Studio ELSA.
2 Established by Law No. 426 of 16 February 1942 as a private body. With the 'Melandri Decree' (Legislative Decree No. 242 of 23 July 1999), CONI became a public entity, but is incorporated under private laws. With the issuing of the 'Pescante Decree' (Legislative Decree No. 15/2004), CONI became a 'confederation'.
3 Article 20 of the CONI Statute.
4 According to Legislative Decree No. 231 of 8 June 2001, sports clubs shall adopt an internal code of conduct that defines the rights, duties and responsibilities of each member.
5 Adopted by the National Council on 11 June 2014 with Resolution No. 1510-1511.
6 See Article 4 of the Justice Regulations of the Italian Federation of Equestrian Sports; see also Article 44 of the Sports Justice Code of the Italian Basketball Federation.
7 See CONI Sports Supreme Court, United Sections, decision No. 58 of 24 November 2015.
10 TAR Lazio, Section 1 ter, 11 October 2017, No. 10171. On the one hand, the possibility to resort to a specialised judge may ensure a higher and more accurate degree of expertise in the resolution of the dispute; but on the other hand, it clashes with the constitutional principle of the right of defence, pursuant to Article 24 of the Italian Constitution.
12 Article 3 of the CONI Sports Justice Code.
13 L Fumagalli, 'La risoluzione delle controversie sportive. Metodi giurisdizionali, arbitrali ed alternativi di composizione', Riv. Dir. Sport., 1999, p. 254 et seq.
14 Law on the sports employment relationship between clubs and professional athletes, available at www.scuoladellosport.coni.it/images/documenti/Normativa_Sport/Professionismo/Legge_23_marzo_1981_n.91.pdf.
15 See Law of 13 December 1989, amended by Decree-Law of 8 February 2007; Law of 13 December 1989, amended by Law No. 217/2010; 'Mancino Law' No. 205/1993; Decree-Law No. 28 of 24 February 2003; Law No. 88/2003; Decree-Law No. 162 of 17 August 2005; Law No. 168 of 17 August 2005; Law No. 210 of 17 October 2005; Law No. 41 of 4 April 2007; Decree-Law No. 8 of 8 February 2007; Legislative decree on public security (12 November 2010); Law No. 217/2010.
16 Taking into consideration the football panorama, the leagues expressly recognised by the Statute of the Italian Football Association (FIGC) are the following: Serie A National Professional League, Serie B National Professional League, Italian Professional Football League (better known as Lega Pro) and the National Amateur League.
17 See Civil Supreme Court, Section V, 28 March 2017, No. 33275; Civil Supreme Court, Section III, 26 January 2016, No. 1322; Civil Supreme Court, Section III, 08 August 2002, No. 12012; Civil Supreme Court, Section III, 30 March 2011, No. 7247; Penal Supreme Court, Section V, 13 March 2017, No. 11991; Penal Supreme Court, Section IV, 26 November 2015, No. 9559; Penal Supreme Court, Section V, 21 September 2005, No. 45210; Penal Supreme Court, Section V, 20 January 2005, No. 19473; Penal Supreme Court, Section V, 2 June 2000, No. 8910.
18 See, for example, Articles 11 and 12 of the Sports Justice Code of the FIGC.
20 Divieto di accesso alle manifestazioni sportive, established by Article 6(c)(1) of Law No. 401/89.
21 See decision of the Italian Criminal Supreme Court No. 24819/16.
22 L Ferrari, 'The Ownership of Broadcasting Rights: From Individual to Collective Selling', in: Blackshaw/Cornelius/Siekmann (editors), TV Rights and Sport: Legal Aspects, TMC Asser Press, 2009, p. 399 et seq.
23 The Decree deals with professional tournaments organised for team sports (e.g., football or basketball). In cases of amateur team sports, the competition organiser may license the broadcasting rights.
24 The event organiser, on the other hand, maintains the exclusive ownership on 'library rights' (i.e., audiovisual recordings of matches that took place at least eight days previously) (Articles 3 and 4 of the Melandri Decree).
25 As regards football: 50 per cent of the sale of TV rights is divided in equal parts among all the participants in the Serie A Championship; 30 per cent on the basis of the results achieved; and 20 per cent on the basis of the number of supporters of each team.
27 Article 97 of the Italian Copyright Law lists exceptional circumstances from the consent, when the use is justified by the fame of or the public office covered by the person, for judicial or police requirements or for scientific, educational or cultural purposes.
28 See Civil Supreme Court, Section I of 29 January 2016, No. 1748.
29 The Convention was executed, alongside the first collective bargaining agreement, between the players' union and the Italian professional football leagues in 1981, subsequently amended in 1984 and 1987.
30 For example, as of season 2018/2019, the Italian football second division league, Serie B, has been renamed Serie BTK as result of a commercial partnership with Indian tyre manufacturing company BKT.
31 For example, the agreement between the Italian internet provider, Aruba.it, and Racing Ducati SuperBike Team has led to an immersive cooperation by providing marketing and communication activities further to a traditional title sponsorship.
32 For a list of the jersey kits of Serie A clubs for the 2018/2019 season see www.footyheadlines.com/2018/05/all-18-19-serie-a-kits.html.
33 Legislative Decree No. 30 of 10 February 2005 and subsequent amendments.
34 Articles 2598, 2599 and 2600.
35 Articles 473, 474, 474 bis, 474 ter, 474 quater, 517, 517 ter and 517 quinques.
36 On 5, 6 and 7 May 2018, Serie A and Serie B football clubs participated in the 'Day of Legality', aimed at drawing the public's attention to the fight against counterfeiting products. Such initiative has been promoted by the Italian Patent and Trademark Office of the Ministry of Economic Development.
37 Within the Italian Football Federation, minors (i.e., those under the age of 18) can sign a professional contract for a maximum of three years.
38 Article 2 of Law No. 91/1981.
39 Available at www.legaseriea.it/uploads/default/attachments/documentazione/documentazione_m/639/files/allegati/649/cu_83_-_tetto_alle_rose.pdf. In addition, with respect to a cap on the number of foreign players (in particular, non-EU players) permitted, the FIGC provides, under its rules and regulations, procedures and restrictions that a non-EU player may face when transferring to Italy.
42 See Presidential Decree No. 917 of 22 December 1986.
43 Article 54.1 quater TUIR.
44 M Tenore, 'The substitute tax regime for newly Italian tax residents. Foreign players moving the tax residence to Italy may now achieve substantial tax reductions on their foreign-source income', in EPFL Legal Newsletter No. 4, April 2017.
47 Article 9, Paragraph 1 Dignity Decree.
48 Article 9, Paragraph 5 Dignity Decree does not apply to existing sponsorship agreements, which are permitted to run until their contracted expiry or 14 July 2019.
49 Manipulation of results is punished with imprisonment of between one month and one year and a fine of between €238 and €1,032.
51 Italian football agents that passed the previous FIFA exam before the 2015 'deregulation' can register without passing such exam.
52 Decision of 25 January 2018.
53 Italian Supreme Court, Section IV, decision of 31 January 2018 to 28 February 2018, No. 4160.