Last week La Gazzetta dello Sport revealed Italian clubs’ debt increased by 50 percent last season. Serie A clubs collectively lost €285m in the 2010/11 season, up from €193m in the previous campaign.
The primary guilty parties were the country’s three giants – Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan recorded losses of €252m (88% of the collective loss). Juventus lost €95.4m, Inter Milan €86.8m, and AC Milan €69.8m. It’s a worrying trend for Italy’s top clubs with UEFA’s new financial fair play rules due to come into effect next season.
The biggest problem are the huge salaries, which account for 89% of Juve’s budget 88% of Inter ‘s and 85% of Milan’s – way above the recommended 60% and way above clubs such as Arsenal (about 50%) and Manchester United (less than 50%).
The solution? Well, it’s time for the benefactors and patrons of these clubs to be more like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona and have the fans have a say in the management of the club. In short – it’s time for Agnelli family, Massimo Moratti and Silvio Berlusconi to sell some of their shares to their loyal supporters.
It makes a lot of financial sense. According to Sport+Markt - Milan have about 21 million fans in Europe, Juventus have about 17 million fans and Inter about 10 million fans.
That means that if Juve sell a million fan shares for €100 per share (that’s very plausible), the club will earn €100m.
If The NFL’s Green Bay Packers sold more than 268,000 shares ($200 per share, which is basically a piece of paper) in their most recent stock offering, raising $67m – Juve can raise even more with a well planned sell of shares to the fans.