Huge losses and mounting debts in Serie A highlights importance of Milan’s path

By Oliver Fisher -

The dire financial situation that Serie A and Italian football finds itself in has been laid bare in a worrying report, but it is one that demonstrates the importance of AC Milan’s path.

A report from Calcio e Finanza (via footitalia) writes – citing Football Report – that Italian football suffered losses of €1.4bn in 2021-22 and has thus accrued debts of €5.6bn, with the aggregate loss over the last 15 years amounting to €7.7bn.

The overall loss of the Serie A, Serie B and Serie C championships in the three-year period COVID-19 (2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22) was equal to almost €3.6bn.

Looking at just Serie A alone, in 2021-22 season the league recorded a production value of just under €3bn, a decrease of 6.5% compared to 2020-21, a season strongly influenced by higher revenues deriving from television rights and commercial activities.

Revenues from stadium admissions saw a recovery during 2021-22 and stood at €218m, an increase of €196.9m compared to 2020-21, a season that was played behind closed doors or with restricted admissions for almost all the season.

The increase in ticketing revenues is partially offset by the reduction in revenues related to television and radio rights, which in 2021-22 reached €1.2bn (-28.9%), mainly considering what was described at the beginning of section and the decrease recorded in the value of TV rights contracts for the period 2021-24.

The proceeds generated by capital gains and loan transfers of players recorded an increase of €132.5m in 2021-22 (+32.4%), but are still far from the results generated before the pandemic, when such revenues amounted to €835m.

Serie A in 2021-22 presents a negative net result exceeding €1bn, with a slight improvement compared to the loss recorded in the 2020-21 season, which amounted to €1.1bn (+9.8%).

At the balance sheet level, there was once again an increase in debt, which reached a value of €4.9bn (+1.1%) and in parallel there was a decrease in shareholders’ equity (-24.1%), in contrast with the last years mainly due to particularly substantial operating losses generated by some clubs.

Meanwhile, Milan have been trend setters in Serie A under Elliott Management and now RedBird Capital, clearing their debts and controlling expenses to the extent a profit for the current financial year is predicted.

Tags AC Milan


  1. Financial stability will pay off in the end. Inter and Juve have been particularly guilty of having no stability and are paying the price for it.

    1. 100% Giancarlo. I feel like the football world in general is going to have to have a reckoning with ballooning expenditures and clubs that are operating under real economic principals will be huge beneficiaries as the ones in massive debt or using “creative” (illegal) accounting methods will languish (and are already).

      1. What is the point of building a team and then having to dismantle it to afford the club, look at the players Inter have lost, the spine of their team has gone.

        Our management has been unbelievable and once we get a stadium we can properly compete

        1. The only way forward is how they do it in Germany with where teams are highly profitable. Yes sometimes they do sell star players, but they also generate far more from stadiums they own solely.

          1. And yes I think we are on track to this kind of future. People don’t get the fact that stability is needed. Management is moving in the right direction.

      1. So you want like IM ? Win 1 times scudetto after 10 years then go unstable selling key player every season to pay debt ? ACM win 1 scudetto too in last 10 years just like them but with stable financial & account


    The whole League is in trouble; Too much red tape and bureaucracy across the league. No real development of youth players, clubs choosing to invest into foreigners because of tax breaks…. Media Rights system is a joke… Can’t even get approvals for stadiums to help clubs generate more revenue… The whole system is @$$-backwards.

    In the 90’s this was the most exciting league to watch. OF course Italians didn’t adjust and move forward, instead stagnating. While the Prem flored the pedal to the metal and started marketing the hell out of itself

    Fast Forward to today – EPL is a commercial gold mine. Even Mid/Low level Clubs have incredible spending power, while the clubs in Italy are barely staying afloat and the league as a whole is debt-ridden… Very sustainable system, Ragazzi. Keep it up.

    1. EPL also received a windfall TV deal in 2003 or 2004 from Sky (Rupert Murdock) who realized the potential of a league in a country whose business environment is much friendlier to business and who had a cultural connection to massive parts of the world due to their former colonial presence. Half of Africa, the Middle East, India and Asia were wearing United and Arsenal shirts in the 90s. English was widely spoken and London a point of reference in Europe. The market was there and he tapped it. Latin America was the exception, due to their own cultural/historic connections, having more of an affinity for La Liga and Serie A in viewership (although that’s probably changing by now as well).

  3. This is the aspect I give a big credit to Elliott and now RedBird, their financial aspect of running this club. There are experienced people, ex Goldman Sachs executives running the club and it shows. But the league itself is problematic and I hope this club won’t suffocate at the expense of reckless and corrupt people in FIGC and Italian politics in general.

  4. Where do the women’s teams factor into this? Are they subsidized by the men’s teams. I know in America the WNBA is subsidized by the NBA. They can’t be generating any kind of profit.

    1. Not really, most expensive thing about women’s team is probably flights, they have comparably low salaries .

  5. The country itself is against it’s clubs, look at how Milan is struggling to get a permit to build its stadium; the rigorous and unfriendly process they have to go through.

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