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Page last updated at 19:32 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 20:32 UK

Serie A to form breakaway league

AC Milan will be one of the clubs in the breakaway league
AC Milan will be one of the clubs in the new league

Italy's top football division Serie A is poised to split from Serie B to form a new league Lega Calcio Serie A.

The two divisions have been unable to reach an agreement over finance and Serie A is set to copy the formation of England's Premier League.

The Premier League increased its share of television revenue after breaking away from the other divisions in 1992.

"Nineteen Serie A clubs today decided to create the 'Lega Calcio Serie A'," said a statement by the new league.

"The decision was made because of the impossibility of reaching an understanding with the Serie B clubs" the statement added.

Italian top-flight clubs are determined to close the gap on Premier League sides, who have increasingly dominated European competition.

The Premier League is the richest in the world and has had three teams in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the last two seasons, while top-flight English sides have been involved in the competitions last four finals.

This time it's for real. I'm not happy but it was necessary

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini

It is believed that only relegated-threatened Lecce voted against the proposal for Serie A to split from Serie B, the only other fully professional division in Italy.

"We have created a new league for Serie A," said Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini after Thursday's meeting. "This time it's for real. I'm not happy but it was necessary."

Maurizio Beretta, the former head of Italy's employers' association, has been proposed as the president of the new league.

But the formation of Lega Calcio Serie A leaves the current Serie B facing an uncertain future.

The second-tier division did not have a television agreement last season and only struck a new one shortly before the start of the current campaign, while many clubs in the division have recently experienced financial problems.

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see also
Premier League v Serie A
21 Feb 09 |  Europe
Premier League v Serie A: TV money
21 Feb 09 |  Europe