AC Milan will be right up against it whoever they draw in the Champions League quarter-finals, but the gap to the elite clubs is staggering.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (via PianetaMilan) reports this morning that Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Chelsea – four of the teams Milan could draw – are part of the European top 10 when it comes to revenues. In the 2021-22 season, City led the table with €731m, then Real had €720m, Bayern €654m and Chelsea €568m.
The three Italian teams come after with Inter on €310m, Milan on €258m and Napoli on €152m, but Benfica get in above the Partenopei on €197m.
Manchester City – the jewel of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayd Al Nahyan’s City Football Group galaxy – has been at the top of the revenue ranking for two years thanks to partnerships and sponsorships from companies in the United Arab Emirates such as Etihad Airways.
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have built their fortunes from domestic dominance and have thus amassed commercial revenues exceeding €300m each, while Chelsea are big spenders and have accelerated that under Todd Boehly.
Looking at the net spend in the last summer window, Bayern Munich spent €58m, Napoli €36m and Milan €32m while Real Madrid (€7m), Inter (€21m), Manchester City (€87m) and Benfica (€158m) all sold more than they spent.
Milan are in the top 10 of clubs that have the most followers in the world with Inter just behind, so there is a fan base there to be utilised, but the two Milan teams earn less than a third of the other big names in Europe while their stadium is half of the others.
The annual squad expenditure (sum of salaries plus depreciation), relating to the 2021-22 season sees Milan at €233m, Inter at €349m, Bayern Munich €412m, Chelsea €532m, Manchester City €584m and €683 for Real Madrid.