More clubs are struggling to register for the upcoming Lega Pro season as the numbers of failed clubs continue to rise year after year.
Another season is ready to write itself a new chapter in Lega Pro and once again, the outlook for many of its clubs, along with those recently promoted from Serie D, remains bleak in the third tier of Italian football. At this time, five clubs have failed to register for the 2016/2017 season as per TuttoMercatoWeb: Rimini, Martina Franca, Virtus Lanciano, Pavia and Sporting Bellinzago, who the latter’s attempt at fusing with Varese was rejected by the FIGC. Five more clubs are currently in purgatory, waiting to find out if they will be able to compete in Lega Pro next season or not. They are Siena, Maceratese, Lucchese, Casertana and Paganese. Should they also pass on registering, this will bring the total to 80 clubs who have disappeared from Lega Pro over the last eight years. A very harrowing number.
In a recent report by La Stampa, there is a very big gap between the top two leagues (Serie A and Serie B), and the Lega Pro, where clubs relegated to the third tier are practically forced to close their doors and restart in an even lower category under a newly founded name. There are also those who have taken the longer road up from the lower categories (Promozione, Eccellenza, etc), gaining promotion but then left with no choice but to accept defeat because of the high costs and insufficient revenues to continue operating in a higher category. Despite the grim future of many clubs, Lega Pro still have the desire to up the current total of clubs in a season from 54 to 60, still way off the 90 registered clubs they had a few years ago.
Although the opening game of the 2016/2017 is still weeks away, the Lega Pro may still lose a handful of other clubs and have no other choice but to select clubs from Serie D who missed out on promotion in their respective groups. For those that do have the lucky opportunity to move up to the third tier, they may face their own set of struggles, barely meeting the financial requirements necessary to register.