Figures show backing of Cardinale was crucial for Milan’s 2023 summer mercato

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan were able to spend quite a lot of money thanks to the sale of Sandro Tonali and the exits of various outcasts this summer. However, the backing of the owner Gerry Cardinale was also crucial. 

The sale of Sandro Tonali to Newcastle for around €70m was a hot topic this summer but, in the end, Milan used the money well. A total of 10 signings were brought in by the management, while several other outcasts were also let go.

As a result, the Rossoneri didn’t increase the costs on the balance sheet by that much, but they did spend a lot. As shown by Transfermarkt, Milan spent the most of any Serie A club this summer, coming in at €112.5m.

However, things get even more interesting when we take a look at the net spend (income minus costs). Milan have the highest net spend at -€45m, while Inter and Atalanta come in at +€68m and +€87m respectively.

Inter need the money to balance their books, with a lot of debt, while Milan have the ability to spend even without many sales (Elliott Management cleared the external debt). The backing of Cardinale was thus crucial for the summer mercato, providing the funds for the management.

Tags AC Milan Gerry Cardinale


  1. Nah people here think the champions league money and Tonali sale funded everything and Gerry Cardinale is just laughing like a James Bond villian back in the US waiting to strike.

    What people refuse to understand is Milan is in a settlement agreement with UEFA and cannot overspend otherwise risks expulsion, blame Yonghong Li for leaving Milan with such massive debts, that 230m+ he spent were mostly 100% losses on our banks and he did nothing to increase commercial revenue like Elliot did.

    1. It’s been known since the beginning that Milan transfer budget is around 40m. That’s with just around 10-20m profit received last season, so obviously Redbird give transfer fund instead of taking profit.

      1. ” so obviously Redbird give transfer fund instead of taking profit.”

        Nooooo, it can’t be!!! They are only here to milk the cow and get their money!!! Right?

      1. The article is about the backing of the owner to cover the 45m which in reality was covered by the UEFA money.

        Current management did a good job, there is no need

        1. Not really accurate, the UCL revenue went towards the costs etc in 2022/23. There should be a profit of around €10-15m for 2022/23 but that is still no €45m.

          1. Sorry I think he has a good point, if you look at the net spend from the previous year, it’s almost the exact amount. So this is hardly a news!

          2. So what you’re saying is Elliott Management also spent money? Indeed not news, but many of you suggest Cardinale has not spent, hence the article.

          3. I thought Redbird acquired Milan at the beginning of last season. The late start of our mercato last season was because the ‘allegedly’ low transfer budget. Apparently, the same alleged transfer budget this year that sealed Maldini’s fate. Make no mistake, I think the management was creative enough this year to get around similar constraint as last season, but to say Cardinale poured more resources into this year’s mercato is an overstatement.

          4. Sorry, isn’t that just an accounting thing, not necessarily a “backing” thing. I think we’re getting mixed up here as to the owner himself making financial efforts vs the club he owns as a vehicle to the purchases (the former was the point people were trying to make). If we remained at the 45 net loss, it would mean the owner hasn’t really covered the loss but just let the loss manifest on the books. The owner therefore hasn’t put anything into the club per se (not saying this is bad). As an example, when we had losses in the past in the Berlusconi era, he literally injected actual capital to cover losses (prior to FPP). When Man City owners wanted to inject money into the club, they did it in a round about way by overpaying on the naming rights to the stadium, thus indirectly injecting money into the club and were still onside with FPP because it’s a revenue stream.
            I haven’t seen the current owners do that. I think that was the point of posters here. It’s basically the Tonali money, exits and last year’s UCL money that’s being used to finance the current spending spree. Not that it’s a bad thing to operate like that (in fact I’d argue this is the better way to go about doing things ie self financing ). It’s just what it is, no hating. Having a -45m means you’re just carrying the loss on the club. Unless you mean in order to make that loss square at the end of the year 🤷‍♂️

          5. You’re not wrong, but for the purchases made you need to provide the infamous ‘bank bonds’ (we know from the Yonghong Li era). Maybe it’s not as direct as paying it yourself, but important nevertheless. As for accounting, yes the signings are spread over contract lenght but the seller still needs to be paid. That’s why Inter need to sell a lot more than they sign for, because the owners don’t have the money to pay.

          6. Ok I understand what you mean, around 30-35m provided by the owner which is not that much. But was there any other option for them after what happened (Maldini sacking, tonali sale)? They had to rebuild the team and they did a fairly good job by injecting small amount.

    1. If you include Uefa money in the equation, you also need to add the salary, tax, transportation cost, maintenance bill etc. Now do the math.

      1. Milan has ticket sale, kits sale, sponsor money, other revenue stream to cover daily operation cost.
        The question HERE is about how much contribution the owner provided for the mercato? and club normally spend UEFA prize money for squad improvement (or at least that was told by management as a must have in order to spend in mercato).

        1. Figures show backing of Tonali was crucial for Milan’s 2023 summer mercato.

          He funded almost two third of the mercato. 🔴⚫

  2. Not every summer mercato will be like this. I think from here on, Milan will go for specific targeted signings, like CB, or LB deputy or CF or so on… There won’t be a need to fund an entire revolution, hence no need to offload stars…

    I think…..

    1. Will 45m transfer budget without offloading star be sufficient? The new stadium that will generate revenue is still 6 years away so our yearly transfer budget will be around 45m untill then.

      1. Nope ,not enough with just 35-50m euro budget every season. With that budget can only buy 1-2 player or just one for striker. There will be sacrifice next season maybe tomori or maignan ( if he refuse renew contract) to fund striker purchase

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