Milan teams’ opposing fortunes on display as AC post record loss, Inter record revenue 

The Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, home venue of Italian football side AC Milan (P

Milan’s two historic football clubs, AC Milan and Inter Milan, have announced their financial results for the last year, demonstrating the contrasting fortunes of the two teams.

Inter has posted record revenues of €417m ($462m) for the 2018-19 season, representing 20 per-cent-growth over the previous campaign, while Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) broke the €100m mark for the first time, growing by 53 per cent to €105.2m.

Total club revenues have more than doubled since it was taken over by Chinese investment company Suning Holdings in 2016.

Inter’s previous record revenue was posted in 2009-10, when the club won a historic treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Uefa Champions League under manager Jose Mourinho. 

The current revenue growth is largely attributable to the club’s returning to the Champions League for the last two seasons, having failed to qualify for the competition in the six preceding years. An average attendance of 61,419 for the season, the highest in Italy and fifth-highest in Europe, led to a growth in stadium revenues. 

The club did post an overall loss, of €48.4m, though this was largely attributed to investments made into the playing staff ahead of the 2019-20 season, when the club has signalled its intention to compete for the Serie A title, bringing in the likes of Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United for a club record fee of €80m. The loss is in line with Uefa financial fair play regulations.

Sponsorship income reached €138m, with as much as €100m of that amount coming from Asian partners, largely from Suning itself, with further contributions from other China-based sponsors.

AC Milan, meanwhile, has posted a record loss of €145.9m for the financial year 2018, €20m more than the embattled club posted in the previous year. Overall turnover also fell by 6.1 per cent, to €241m.

AC Milan has now accumulated losses of over €500m over the past six seasons, due, like its neighbour Inter, to dropping out of the Champions League over that period. This season, the club also missed out on revenues from the second-tier Europa League, after negotiating a deal with Uefa relating to its previous losses breaking financial fair play rules.

The two sides have recently submitted a proposal to construct a new stadium, replacing the iconic San Siro Stadium which they have shared since 1947. Yesterday, the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, said that the project as it stands “is not acceptable”, adding that “some of the requests the clubs have made are excessive.” 

AC Milan chairman Paolo Scaroni told media that the two clubs have a “plan B” if their stadium proposal doesn’t go ahead, expected to mean a significant redevelopment of the existing San Siro. 

Inter is currently preparing for renegotiations with its main sponsor, tire brand Pirelli. The two share one of the longest-running relationships in European football, with Pirelli having appeared on Inter’s shirts since the mid-’90s. The club is hoping to more than double its current earnings from that deal, valuing its shirt sponsorship at around €25m annually. Pirelli currently pays €10.5m for the rights.