KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Italian football is entering similar stormy waters as the English Premier League over proposals for the government to impose a financial watchdog.

In Italy the measures are expected to form part of a wider sports decree to be presented by the government later this month in the face of angry opposition from Serie A clubs and the Olympic CONI which governs the country’s sport.

The regulator would have a remit to supervise the “economic and financial management” of clubs in sports such as football and basketball to ensure that they were both sound and sustainable.

Sports directors are concerned that the measures could breach rules to prevent political interference in the running of sports.

CONI president Giovanni Malago said: “I have serious doubts that this proposal will be accepted by international sports bodies. If not, we risk making a fool of ourselves on the world stage and unfortunately that wouldn’t be the first time that an Italian government has got itself into such a position.”

Sports minister Andrea Abodi responded that room for improvement was obvious in the governance and running of football clubs in particular.

He added: “It’s a shame there wasn’t the same uproar when tax debts for more than €100m for professional clubs in the top three divisions were written off in just the last two years.”