GUEST ARTICLE on Milan’s finances from Mikael.
We are about to go into the so called “Silly Season” where the media circus regarding player transfers are about to start. On a daily basis from now to the 1st of September we are going to hear transfer rumors. Most of them are not even true and pure fiction. Nonetheless we are going to read them, hear them and even discuss the usefulness to each individual player. This is great, this is what football is all about. Nothing can spark a debate as football news.
However, one of the recurring outbursts I read every summer (and even winter) is the phrase: “Berlusconi must sell because he is not willing to spend”. This seems to have been a legitimate statement when talking about Milan’s transfer campaign. This is, though, a complete false statement which the financial statements clearly show.
As stated in my recent article (Milan’s Financial State) the club has had a combined loss of 186.1 million euro from 2006 to 2010. Last month the club announced a 67.3 million euro loss for 2011. If you then look at the last 5 years the combined loss from 2007 to 2011 is a stunning 255.9 million euro which the following table illustrates:
The 255.9 million euro is an average 51.2 a year which Berlusconi has covered every single time. As Galliani stated when the latest financial report was released:
“The losses have been completely covered by Fininvest, even though we’re number one in terms of commercial rights. I thank the president for his passion… Without Fininvest, we couldn’t be an example of sporting excellence the world over.”
The truth is that Berlusconi has invested heavily in the club the last five years. The truth is also that because the club has had so great wage expenses that the money was not used in the transfer market but instead used to cover the losses instead of investing. This is one the points I stated in the article I referred to above. The wages the club has paid was too much for the business to healthy.
It is not because Milan does not spend any money. But even with the huge financial support from the Berlusconi family it is impossible for Milan to compete with clubs like United, Barca, Real and Bayern as these clubs generate so much more revenue than our beloved club that the extra money from Berlusconi is not enough to close the gap.
I really look forward to the transfer window and it seems that Milan have already signed both Montolivo and Traoré. I love the rumors, gossip and the general circus. My only wish is for people to stop blaming Berlusconi for not spending any money as the accounts clearly show that there are 255.9 million reasons it is a groundless accusation. Have a great transfer window.