Italian football clubs agree breakaway

ROME: Serie A's 20 clubs on Thursday voted to break away from their Serie B counterparts and form a new competition along the lines of the English Premier League.

The new league, which would no longer involve second-tier clubs in its decision-making process, is to be called Lega Serie A.

Only Lecce, who are in the relegation zone and look set to drop to Serie B next season, voted against the motion to split from the Lega Calcio, which currently organises the top two divisions in Italy.

The new organisation has picked Maurizio Beretta, a former director of Italian television channel Rai Uno, as its new head.

"We've agreed a new A league. Am I satisfied? No, but it was necessary," said Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini following the meeting in Rome.