GdS: Milan’s European struggles risk seeing €113m evaporate – the figures

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan’s potential exit from European competitions this season before Christmas is something that will have economic implications moving forward.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (see photo below) has an article which begins: ‘From a sporting point of view, a disaster. Economically, a catastrophe’. Milan need a miracle to make the Champions League last 16, and they risk also not even making the Europa League.

Compared to the semi-final of the last Champions League, it is a very painful turnaround that could cost at least €113m. The FIFA Club World Cup set for June 2025 is in doubt as well, which has drawn scrutiny in terms of its timing but is cash-rich in prize money.

The 2022-23 Champions League was a blessing for Milan’s coffers, with revenues of around €127m obtained. To be precise: €85m in UEFA prizes and €42.5m at the box office. The ticket sales were as follows: €14.4m from tickets for the three group matches (Dinamo Zagreb, Chelsea, Salzburg) and €28.1m in the knockout rounds (Tottenham, Napoli and Inter).

This is without considering the commercial implications, because more you play and win, the more the image of Milan appears in newspapers, TV and social media. A virtuous spiral that can turn vicious.

From the semi-final lost against Inter to the eventual farewell in the groups it would be a triple somersault without protection. In this Champions League, Milan have already collected, more or less, €42m euros between participation, historical ranking, results in the group and market pool.

Added to this are the €18.8m from the box office (Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle, PSG) for a total of €61m. Less than half of the last Champions League. Now the most painful chapter: the loss of income.

Getting to the semi-final like last year would guarantee €33m in UEFA prize money, at least €5m from the market pool (the one linked to the Champions League matches) and, considering the increase in prices, at least €30m from the box office. The total sum is €68m evaporated from one year to the next.

An additional regret is the FIFA Club World Cup. It debuts in June 2025, with a final phase of 32 teams. There are 12 European clubs, with Italy getting two spots and Inter having secured one of them. The other comes out of the three-way fight between Juventus, Milan and Napoli.

Juve are ahead, and exiting Europe now means saying goodbye to the dreams of a trip to the USA. A result that cannot please Gerry Cardinale. In addition to the sentimental issue there is the commercial one (unquantifiable) and the one linked to the prizes.

The figures are not official here either, but we are talking about $2.5bn in prize money (€2.3bn). Participating should be worth $50m dollars (€45m). Adding the two numbers together, €68m plus €45m equals €113m. Between adjustments, increases and cuts, it would be a catastrophe.

Tags AC Milan


  1. In order to gain $50-200mil, you need to spend money to make it happen. We have one healthy CB that plays at Serie A level. The ship is currently without a minimum to run properly, let alone win $50-200mil in economic prizes. Stupid.

  2. Its not easy to make money in italian football, its directly related to what is happening in the pitch, dont take for granted what elliot and the previous management did, its not easy to replicate, atleast the current guys started by reaping the harvest of the past work, now its time to raise their own crop, its not as easy as banking and finance, italian football is a crazy jungle, you need to be smart and respect the jungle laws at the same time, as much as the laws dont make any sense, else the jungle will consume you, we face a real test now, not the buying and selling (wheeling and dealing) of players

    1. This is on point. It felt like Redbird came in and just assumed they knew everything and every right decision.

      It’s turning our more that Maldini knew so much more than Redbird ever could.

      Hopefully Gerry turns this trend downwards around or he won’t even be able to be a feeder club.

  3. Milan lost years ago, when some of best players left for free.
    Expecting top results with young players and one who left Chelsea is not realistic idea
    This year champions league group was group of death. Even PSG could potentially exit and they have top team in the group.
    So losing all that money is not important but to create best possible team for Champions league and serie a.
    Consistent to be in one of top 4 teams in serie a is always must goal year by year.
    And in champions league team must compete in top level.

    1. Yeah if only Haaland’s still in Dortmund, we will witness Haaland’s wrath, but irl we will finally face Newcattle’s team in the must win game

  4. Is G Cardinale loosing all of theese Economic Figures for the sake of keeping Pioli whom he pays his salaries for Failed specified duties.
    Wake up you are sleeping in wrong time!

  5. Keep Pioli, save 4.5 mil (can’t remember the exact salary) and lose 100+ mil?

    Sack Pioli, lose 4.5 mil and potentially save 60 mil (4th place league finish)?

    It’s your choice Gerry.

  6. If you compare the group from last year with this years, it isn’t all that surprising that it got too tough. There’s the issuus with muscular injuries, Pioli not getting the best out of players, lack of consistency in the few players who have the talent, but are relied upon way too heavily… All of them are partial explanations…

    But the main thing here is what happened this summer when Maldini and Massara were sent packing because they wanted a balanced team that could fight for trophies and Cardinale only wanted assets he could nurture and sell for profit, who were good enough to hit 4th or better and make a decent run in CL if everything went well.

    This isn’t unexpected for Cardinale. It isn’t optimal, the gamble didn’t play out, but it isn’t unexpected. There’s always next year, he isn’t going broke over one bad year, and he doesn’t care about Inter having a second star on their shirt. These guys aren’t fans, they are just businessmen. Win or lose, the value of the squad clearly grows this season.

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