The AC Milan management are continuing with the very difficult task of trying to lower the cost of the squad while improving the team’s competitiveness on the pitch.
Calcio e Finanza have done a study regarding the current cost of the squad with some estimations based on salaries, depreciation and cost of players on loan for the 2020-21 season, taking into account the transfer market transactions concluded so far, bearing in mind more could follow.
Looking at the 2019-20 season first of all, the cost of the Milan squad was around €188.3m in total, a figure €20.5m lower than the €208.8m from 2018-19.
Summer 2018 has been dubbed the ‘Leonardo market’, which saw the arrival of Mattia Caldara (still owned by Milan), Tiémoué Bakayoko, Diego Laxalt, Gonzalo Higuain (for only six months), Krzysztof Piatek and Lucas Paqueta (both arrived in January).
The estimate on the cost of the Milan squad for the 2019-20 season does not take into account the agreement on the salaries of players over COVID, as it was never officially confirmed.
After 30 June 2020, Milan have carried out a number outgoing operations, collecting approximately €38m so far (also considering the €3m bonus linked to the sale of Suso).
In addition to the capital gains (€17.03m) and the lower depreciation (€21.32m), there is also the savings on the salaries of the players who wore the Rossoneri shirt last season, with high-earners Biglia and Bonaventura out of the door as well as Suso, Piatek, Reina and Rodriguez mid-season.
Overall, the lower costs between salaries and depreciation should be equal to €40.65m, to which €17.03m in capital gains should be added, for a positive economic impact on the 2020-21 budget of €57.69m.
In terms of signings, Ante Rebic’s permanent arrival from Eintracht Frankfurt. Assuming that the redemption took place at the same price paid by the Germans for André Silva (€9m), Milan’s total outlay would rise from €7.98m to €16.98m, while the depreciation (considering the five-year contract signed by the Croatian striker) would rise from €2.88m to €4.68m.
At the moment the players who joined the Rossoneri on a temporary basis are Sandro Tonali – for whom a €10m loan fee was paid with a €15m option to buy and a potential €10m in further bonuses – and Brahim Diaz, who arrived from Real Madrid free of fees.
If the outgoing players have resulted in savings of around €19.33m in gross salaries for 2020-21 season, the impact of the new signings is certainly lower, considering that Rebic was already in the squad last season and that Kjaer and Saelemaekers played with Milan the second part of the 2019-20 campaign.
The greatest impact on Milan’s salaries for the 2020-21 season, pending the possible renewal of Gigio Donnarumma, is for now linked to the new contract of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will earn €7m net but €9.17m gross thanks the tax benefits provided for by the Growth Decree.
The cost of the squad 2020-21, according to the estimates of the Football and Finance Studies Office, as of 21 September 2020 is €165.11m, down by €23m (-12%) compared to Calcio e Finanza’s estimate of the cost of the 2019-20 squad.
Considering the capital gains of €17.03m made so far, the Milan management would have a margin of €40million (including salaries, depreciation and loan costs) to have a squad cost in line with that of the season previous one.
Given the effects of COVID on revenue though, it is reasonable to expect that the Milan management will try to sell players before signing. In this sense, the possible sale of Paquetà – who weighs on the budget for over €11m – could free up additional resources.