ANSA: Growth Decree scrapped from January – big blow for Serie A clubs

By Ben Dixon -

In recent weeks, the discussion about the future of the Growth Decree, or lack of it, has been rife and in the latest turn in the tale, the Decree will be scrapped starting in January. So, here is what it means for AC Milan and other Lega Serie A clubs. 

The Growth Decree is a huge benefit to Lega Serie A – it saves around €130million for football clubs. As a result, it means that teams can tempt foreign players with better deals due to the discounted taxation and then have more money then available to pursue talents.

READ MORE: Growth decree abolition planned – What it means for Milan in the present and future

ANSA (via reports that the growth decree, which was set for a slight extension, will be completely scrapped. This decision was confirmed after a ‘heated debate’ among government ministers. 

As a result, it means that in January, the Growth Decree will no longer be available, and clubs will feel the impacts straight away when it comes to signing international talents.

Furthermore, it may cause clubs to rush to tie foreign talents down before January 1 2024, as the Decree will not affect deals signed before this date, meaning the benefits of such will still be felt.

Tags AC Milan Growth Decree


    1. And Theo. Although would the growth decree still count for them since they’re renewals of players who have already been in-country for a few years?

    1. It could change now that growth decree has been scrapped. Besides, big guns of Serie A are the ones keeping the league above water. FIGC can print their documento on a fine, soft paper and wipe their arses with it.

    1. Why? Because they’re stopping billion euro corporates to pocket more money? Where do you think the difference in tax comes from? Common Italian taypayer’s pocket.

      1. To be fair If Milan is able to sign 3 instead of 2 players the government doesn’t really loose anything, it just gets 3x a smaller amount. Similar if we go for more expensive players, the governments share will not change that much in absolute numbers, it will just be lower relative to what Milan can spend.
        It is not like we really save anything of our budget, only if we would do that you could argue that it goes against the taxpayers.

        1. Some players could only come to Italy thanks to the Growth Decree and Italian clubs were able to offer economic conditions that were even better to Premier League sides. That’s just one of the advantages of this decree.

    2. I don’t think this is a bad decision by their government (actually a very good one in some cases). I think this will help promote the youth sector by a lot. Now we can compete for players like Baldanzi and Ricci.

      1. Is Baldanzi even better than Daniel Maldini?
        If the salary and taxes are the same for Italian and foreign players, clubs will still buy the superior foreign talent on a cheaper transfer fee than the Inferior overpriced Italian talent.
        Baldanzi has scored 1 goal this season. That all he has contributed.
        This new law will just hurt the bigger clubs from bringing in the higher paying players from outside of Italy, like Lukaku, Zlatan and such because you save on their salary.
        But if all is equal, the clubs will still go for the better player, and that’s usually not the Italian.
        If they think that this will force teams to buy more Italian players they are lying to themselves.

        1. Well, I will be honest, I just named one random young Italian I knew. The law will hurt us a lot, whose core consists of non-Italian players. It would be difficult to renew players like Theo and Mike now.

        2. Sorry on what basis are you saying the Italian is inferior to the foreigner?

          Is it something in the DNA?

          Did the DNA change circa 2006?

          Besides it doesn’t need to be Italian v foreigner.

          It just means heaven forbid teams promote the youth players that they apparently went to the trouble to invest in.

          I mean if youth team players are going to be written off at birth why not just give me the money instead of wasting it on a youth team you never use?

          Imagine if you were a car designer and none of the cars you designed were ever put into production and instead the car manufacturer had to bring in cars from direct rivals (who do their rivals a ‘solid’ by selling one of their own cars to their rivals).

          Do you think you’d keep your job?

          Why do football clubs tolerate such an abject failure from their youth development?

          What do they think this is – some holiday camp for kids?

          1. Maybe Italian youths are either not of the same (or probably lesser) quality than the rest of Europe or they have not been given the chance to develop. But if u look at the Italian national teams it’s clear this generation is behind other countries in quality as evidenced by failure to qualify for two WCs in a row.
            These things are generational. Remember when Italy had an incredible set of players….circa 2006 as you mentioned. Well other teams weren’t as great. Spain was great late 00s, early 2010s. Not so much now. Germany too, though they’re starting to set a nice eyoung core that would reap dividends in the next few years. Everyone have their cycles. Italy right now is not there but over time things can change.

          2. @ IKWYDLS Are you talking about the country that won the Euros 2 years ago?

            (I know, I know I’m always living in the (distant, distant) past!).

            Or is it the country that has routinely challenged in the latter stages of the European cups at youth team?

            Off the top of my head here’s what Milan could’ve had today had we not wasted so much time and energy signing rubbish on the transfer market:

            Acerbi (not youth but cheap)
            De Sciglio
            El Shaaraway

            Now I’m not saying all of them would he starting but my god we could’ve saved ourselves a lot of hassle. Like churning through Cristante AND Locatelli AND Tonali AND being left with NONE of them!

          3. Yes I am saying the same team that won the euros 2 years ago and right after that failed to qualify for the world Cup. Its called papaering over the cracks. Four months after that win and they couldn’t beat Switzerland and Northern Ireland and loss to North Macedonia I believe.
            Come on bro. Tatics may have played a part but the quality isn’t there.
            Look even at your list. None of these players are world class bar Donnarumma for all the hate he receives here. Name me a player on that list that’s on Pirlo’s level? Totti level? De Rossi? Del Piero? None of them are even close

          4. @ IKWYDLS

            Is it called papering over the cracks or a couple of incidents that went against us (so best not to burn everything)?

            The team broke an international record for an unbeaten run.

            You see this is exactly the mentality which is so problematic.

            Frankly most of football (and life) comes down to luck. Seriously depending on how far you want to go back (Big Bang v your birth) it’s basically mostly down to kick. There’s a small part we control (5-10%) but most of it is down to luck.

            So you don’t make massive life altering decisions because someone missed a penalty.

            And if you do, you will keep making life altering decisions at every step until you have chaos. All in a misguided attempt to control the uncontrollable.

          5. You’re hooked on the win in Euros while neglecting the fact that Italy hasn’t qualified for the WC two years in a row now. How about you address that in your next reply?! That’s terrible. A country which used to be an ever present and always the “don’t count them out team” is longer a regular fixture…..hmmm why could that be? Maybe others have better quality , perhaps or Italy is not as good as they think they are?. Getting there is the battle but the war is won over qualis.

            Still haven’t named anyone in your list better than the ones I mentioned. This is the vast difference in quality I’m mentioning here. No one on you list is better than Pirlo. Ok Pirlo’s world class but that’s also my point. Maybe Perrotta …no one on the list is better than Perrotta?? (Not saying Perrotta was bad, he was quite decent) Wake up buddy

      2. Just because the growth decree makes foreign players less likely to join, does not immediately make Italian talent more attainable. In fact, because they scrap the growth decree, this means that teams with talented Italians will charge the big clubs MORE to buy them, since they know that the Italians will be worth less than foreigners.

        Don’t see how any of this is good for Milan when they are trying to bring in talented players to compete. Italians become more expensive, foreign talent becomes less attainable, and developing the youth in your academy will take years.

  1. First of all, where are we with Mike’s renewal ? I hope we keep it a buck when it comes to renewals

    Secondly does anyone know what that cost benefit analysis on scrapping the measure or is it one of those “things” where it’s all political.

    1. I don’t live in Italy but I bet the government is selling this to the average tax payer as raising taxes on the rich and lowering them for others. Unfortunately for us fans (of any Italian club) this will be a huge blow.

      1. The Meloni government is very indulgent to the rich and then they blame the foreigners and migrants. Their speech is based on patriotism, national and racial ideology. I guess this is a move to please their electors because it could favour the Italian youth. It’s a heated debate in Italy right now, but most people don’t care that it’s been revoked.

    2. Also, couldn’t they keep the decree but limit the number of times per year you can use it? Or phase it out. That would seem like a compromise 🤷‍♂️

  2. It’s a very dumb move,” Lazio President Lotito told

    “I’d like to see who wants to come here from abroad now. And the State will lose out too, because it will get less revenue coming in.”

    Lotito also aims the finger of blame squarely at the Players’ Association, who had fought to remove the Growth Decree because it made it significantly cheaper to bring in players from abroad than invest in Italian talent.

    “They are the ones who did everything to wreck this decree. They said things that were unfair about the youth academies, as if 14-year-olds were promoted to the senior squad. Well done them, now we’ll see what they will do when the league is less competitive.”

    It gave Italian football clubs the opportunity to sign big-name players and managers that they likely could not have afforded without the tax breaks, but also allowed smaller clubs to sign foreign players that they previously would probably have not been able to attract.

    Players like Ibrahimovic, Lukaku, Pogba, or Di Maria or managers like Mourinho or Conte would never have been able to join Serie A without the tax break the Decreto Crescita offered (however – clubs also bought a lot of mediocre foreigners just because they were affordable).

    It essentially gave a lifeline to Serie A as it allowed the league to become competitive with the other big leagues in Europe, and the results over the years speak for themselves.

    You can add this to the great stadium infrastructure in the country. How long has been now that Milan has been trying to build their own stadium, at least a decade. They can’t even get an approval to buy a land to build a stadium because of bureaucracy.
    Think about it.
    2 of the biggest clubs in football Milan and Inter, plus Roma and Lazio, share a stadium that they don’t even own.
    How many clubs in the EPL are London based ? At least a third of the league, and they all have a separate stadium that they own.
    Forget about a Super League. Milan. Inter, Juventus etc should move the clubs to another country, where the present and the future are more important that the past.

    1. You can’t build a stadium wherever you want in Milan because the municipality is environment friendly (what a relief since it was the most polluted city in Europe ten years ago) and a lot of raw lands around Milan are protected. The bureaucracy is here to prevent Wall Street investment funds to destroy even more of the few nature that is left. There are more important things than football. Nobody in Milan cares about a new stadium.

      1. Thanks again for proving another of my points today.
        And what is the issue why Milan and Inter are not allowed to tear down San Siro and build on the same spot?
        Oh, right, because history and tradition.
        They need another staircase to remind them of the past.
        Without the revenue from your own stadium, you can not compete in today’s football.
        Make sure you remember that when you complain that Milan doesn’t sign big name players.
        It doesn’t depend on how rich your owner is, but on how much money the club itself generates.
        Before the tax break was introduced in 2019, only 1 Italian team could compete in the European competition, Juventus, and surprise surprise, they have their own stadium.
        In the last few years thanks to the tax break, inter played 2 European finals, Roma played 2 finals, Fiorentina played in a final and even Milan got to the semi-final.
        The state bureaucracy and the league are the only thing that holds Italian clubs back.
        Even PIF didn’t want to buy Milan or Inter because of that situation, so Instead they bought Newcastle.

      2. It’s mind-boggling how much hatred Italians have towards foreign owners and the so-called Wall Street Investment funds, when it was such a Wall Street investment fund that saved Milan and other clubs from bankruptcy after they were driven into the ground by their Italian owners.
        People seem to forget that the Italian businessman and prime Minister that owned Milan for 30 years sold the club to a man that had no money. A club that he loved and owned and said that he’ll makes sure he is going to leave it in good hands and yet sold it to a man that couldn’t even keep the club for a year.
        Great job Berlusconi.
        Was that sale ever investigated? Nah, but we had some minority owner who called for the club’s sale from Elliott to RedBird to be investigated.
        Which one was more shady,
        Berlusconi to Li, or Elliott to RedBird sale?
        I guess everything is foreigners fault in Italy.
        Where are the Italian rich people or corporations to buy these clubs, and run them based on history and tradition?

        1. You disperse yourself. I’m giving yourself some insight because I live in Milan and not in the FIFA career mode. I don’t know in which fairy land you live to think that Wall Street people are nice guys and that a vulture fund “saves” a football club only because they have enormous hearts.

    2. This is an interesting take. I do see the benefit of the growth decree simply from an attractiveness to foreign talent. The domestic talent needed a different incentivization. That’s more like a minimum guaranteed playing time for youth players in the league for instance (sort of like what Germany did). In England there are so many cups, it’s easier to play youths in the lesser cups too (not saying we should have more cups as that’s a whole other issue re injuries), but maybe some play in tournament which requires minimum number of youth players and which contributes towards the league standings

  3. Okay lets say you’re trying to promote the development of the Italian youth core, which arguably there are more of them in smaller clubs in Italy.

    One Question though: Is anyone internationally tuning in to see them play? NO. They tune in to watch bigger Italian clubs to watch CR7 when he was at Juve, Lautaro at Inter, Leao at Milan, Dybala at Roma… etc.

    How in the world do you plan on selling television rights after you’ve essentially unsustainable to acquire foreign talent?

    Arguably, Italian youth improves by playing not only among other Italian youth, but also European Youth, African Youth, etc.

    However, I am not surprised. Italy does EVERYTHING backwards. Instead of following the EPL model to improve the league, market it and make it stellar like it was in the 90’s they take HUGE steps back and go all Nationalistic.

    Guess what, your youth will not improve. Your big clubs will start dropping foreign talent and get gutted in Europe. Who the eff will tune in to watch them? Where will your income come from?

    Country of dinosaurs, I swear, spear-headed by that fossil Gravina.

  4. A knee-jerk solution which will create another problem eventually. At the rate where Italy is ‘progressing’, Serie A is likely to become another feeder league like the Austrian, or at best French. Or like Germany if we are allowed to build infrastructures without red tape. Let’s not deny that the clubs need international exposure to remain competitive and relevant in the grand scheme of things. Our players too. If Serie A clubs cannot attract foreign talents to make the league competitive or they cannot pay our local players a competitive wage, agents will be selling their clients (our Italian players) to foreign leagues (with better exposure and wages) at the next available opportunity. So let’s not pretend scrapping the Growth Decree is going to solve the world’s problem. The challenges of retaining our local players and narrowing the gulf between Serie A and other European leagues will remain. Perhaps the Super League is a recourse for more ambitious clubs.

  5. Super league will finish the job of ruining European football. The increased capital concentrated in fewer clubs will result in even further inflation of wages and transfer fees. Why wouldn’t players, agents and clubs raise their asking prices when participating clubs are guaranteed 300m per year just for being there? So what changes? The only real result is the death of domestic leagues.

    The solution to the football financial crisis is capping wages and capping transfers. Max 3 transfers per window, with max 1 non-EU player per window.

  6. I think people are confusing key issues.

    Scrapping the growth decree is not going to compromise youth development or even the capacity to sign international youth.

    The French, Belgian, Portuguese and Dutch leagues are basically feeder leagues for Italy, Germany and Spain (and they’re all feeder leagues for the EPL). They have no issue signing quality young players.

    The issue is going to be signing established players. But then how many established guns get signed by Italian teams anyway?

    What this is really going to do is end a lot of the non-sensical spending and corruption that makes up a large part of transfers.

    Look at the teams who are most reliant on the Growth Decree. Who are the players who wouldn’t be in Serie A but for the use of the Decree and does anyone actually care?

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