Worldwide renowned Milan team “in difficulties”.
AC Milan, the team known to football fans around the world and a leading symbol of the city, is in severe financial straits.
This is the analysis of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, the UK-based professional services group, largest in the world by revenue and number of professionals.
The club has for the first time lost its place in the “top 20” Deloitte Football Money League, coming in at 22nd place with a disappointing €192m revenue in the 2016-17 season. This is a far cry from its third place in 2004-05.
Founded by two British expats in 1899 as The Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club, AC Milan was owned until 2016 by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. He sold the club to a Chinese concern after two previous unsuccessful attempts to find a buyer.
Now the seven-time European champions are facing a deadline for the repayment of a huge loan, rumoured to be around €220m and due in October. Worse in sporting terms was the club’s result of sixth place in last season’s Serie A, which meant Milan will not take part in Champions League matches, with all the prize-money and television coverage rights that would have brought in.
And the verdict of UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body is still awaited. “If UEFA imposes sanctions, that can result in removal of the right to play in UEFA competition,” a Deloitte consultant told media this week. “There’s a real lack of a success on the pitch and that means match-day and broadcast revenues are flat and commercial revenues have fallen.”
But consultant Sam Boor suggested Milan could still recover. “AC Milan has got its financial challenges but it’s still a very big brand,” he told www.goal.com, the largest online soccer publication in the world.