Italian soccer’s top-tier Serie A will remain a 20-team league after most of its clubs voted against reducing the competition to 18.

At a general assembly meeting held by the league yesterday (February 12), only four clubs voted to reduce the number of top-flight teams – Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, and Roma. These represent four of the league's heavyweight teams.

The top clubs had pushed for the reduction to minimize the number of games played and increase the quality of soccer on offer but needed a majority of 14 in order to pass the reform.

The current format of 20 teams was introduced in 2004-05.

The attempt by the quartet of clubs to reduce the size of the league has now been criticized by directors from other teams.

Torino president Urbino Cairo said: “I think the attitude of [the clubs in question] was wrong. I would say what they wanted to do seemed like a super league.”

France’s Ligue 1 made the switch from 20 teams to 18 this season after clubs voted almost unanimously in favor of the reduction back in 2021.

Of Europe’s top five leagues, the German Bundesliga is the only other comprising 18 teams, with England’s Premier League and Spain’s LaLiga both having 20.

At yesterday’s Serie A meeting, a proposal for reforms was also approved as the Italian league pushes for more autonomy, similar to the Premier League.

Those reforms will be presented at the Italian soccer federation’s extraordinary general assembly in March.

Lorenzo Casini, Serie A president, said: “Currently, the system does not give Serie A the autonomy and decision-making weight it should have with respect to economic weight.”

Earlier this month, Serie A and Enilive, the sustainable energy subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni, unveiled a new title sponsorship deal.