The headline figures from Milan’s accounts for the year ending 31 December 2013 have been floating around for a month or two now, but just in case you’ve forgotten or are not aware, here they are again:
- Turnover at €278.713m is down by more than €50m on 2012 (€329.307m)
- Expenses were also reduced from 2012 (€324.313m), sitting at €278.655m for the year.
- Gruppo Milan made an operating profit for the second consecutive year, at €58,000. Down from 2012’s €4.994m.
- They posted a net loss of €15.723m (2012 – a net loss of €6.857m)
- Net debt has risen slightly to €256.362m (2012 – €247.359m)
Click here to see the full 2013 balance sheet, translated into English.
Before we go into a bit more detail, it is important to remember that Milan’s accounts, unlike the accounts of the majority of other football clubs, are reported on a calendar year basis. So figures for items such as match revenue, ticket sales etc. will comprise of the latter half of the 2012/13 season (i.e. January-May 2013) and the first half of the 2013/14 season (i.e. August-December 2013).
Matchday revenue was down to €28.698m (2012 – €33.751m), thanks primarily to a reduction in game revenue of over €5m. Milan put this down to fewer matches in 2013 compared to 2012. They did, however, make more from ‘other competitions’ – see the miscellaneous section at the bottom of this article.
That does rather ignore the woeful 2013/14 season ticket campaign. Sales at 23,490 were the lowest of the Silvio Berlusconi era, and contributed to the lowest revenue from season ticket sales since 2007. The 2013 figure was down almost €1.8m compared to 2012.
TV income was also reduced at €119.547m (2012 – €139.818m). Domestic TV money was down by just under €7m due to changes in the rights, plus Milan’s lower league placing in 2013 relative to 2012. Money from UEFA was down by around €13.5m, which Milan explained was the result of three Italian teams participating in the 2012/13 Champions League, compared to just two the season before (see this article for an explanation on how the market pool works), plus the team getting knocked out in the round of 16 in 2013, compared to the quarter-finals the year before.
UEFA TV money comprised €42.095m of the total turnover, and Milan’s absence from the 2014/15 Champions League is going to seriously hurt them on the balance sheet.
One of the few positives to arise from this year’s accounts is the increase in commercial revenue, up to €98.429m (2012 – €93.927m), which the accounts explained as being related to two changes. The first was the agreement to allow commercial partners to use images of the team in action with other companies, in various marketing campaigns. The other was the sale of some of the property of the old Milan headquarters at Via Turati, which earned €3.277m.
That figure of €98.4m also includes income from sponsors – namely shirt sponsor Emirates and technical sponsor Adidas. Milan received €17.347m from the latter (2012 – €16.726m) – a small increase, but still nowhere near the €20m you often see reported in the media.
Emirates paid €12.75m for their sponsorship in 2013 (2012 – €13.75m), which comprised of €1m in bonus payments. The 2012 figure featured €2m in bonus payments, which means Milan lost €1m in bonuses from Emirates in 2013. This relates to the Champions League, with the team’s failure to reach the quarter-finals of the competition costing the club the extra payment.
The contract with Emirates expires in June 2015, and it will be interesting to see what Milan can gain from any new deal, whether it’s with Emirates or someone else. The apparent short-term focus of qualifying for the Champions League – taking precedence over and above actually building a young squad and looking long-term – carries extra significance when you place it in the context of negotiating a new shirt sponsor. Struggle again this campaign, and their bargaining power is reduced. Qualify for Europe, or at least look on course to do so, and it becomes much easier to sell 2013/14’s 8th place finish as a one-off.
The final contributing factor to 2013’s turnover is player sales, which is at €24.148m for the year. This is a huge reduction from 2012’s €53.437m – featuring the sales of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva – and naturally has had an influence on the turnover for 2013.
The selling of the aforementioned duo was, according to Berlusconi, completed with wages in mind. They were the club’s two highest earners – at €8m and €6m per year, respectively – and were sold to reduce the wage bill. The good news is that it has worked. The wage bill for 2013 was €151.275m (2012 – €183.806m) – a huge fall from the previous year, and the lowest it has been since 2006. It’s worth noting that the club also explained that this was due to the non-renewal of one or two expiring contracts at the end of the 2012/13 season.
The rest of the expenses were largely unremarkable. San Siro rent was up slightly, at €4.541m (2012 – €4.434m). Amortisation of players – or, in other words, the writing down of transfer fees over time in the accounts – was just over €50m (2012 – €53.676m). Match organisation expenses were down by €1.8m, as you’d expect when the team plays fewer games, and there was a reduction of €3.1m in player management costs.
PROFIT/LOSS (net loss of €15.723m)
Importantly, the club is generating an operating profit. It is undoubtedly small at €58,000, but the operating margin is a better indicator of a business’ ability to generate cash, and for the past two years, Milan have managed to do just that, despite posting net losses.
The bottom line is less impressive – a net loss of €15.723m – but with that figure, they should be more than equipped to meet UEFA’s €45m aggregate losses over three seasons, necessary for Financial Fair Play, which was one of the ultimate goals of the club-wide cost-cutting exercise they initiated a few years ago.
The rise in net debt, now at €256.362m (2012 – €247.359m), is primarily due to an increase in bank debt to €144.079m. Milan gave no special explanation for this, just a consequence of ‘normal operations with the banking system’.
There were a few other interesting bits and pieces from the 2013 accounts, the following of which didn’t really fit into the breakdown above.
- Kevin Constant cost a total of €7.5m. We knew last year that the first 50% cost €4m, because that was what Milan valued the 50% of Francesco Acerbi that they sent in exchange. They obtained the other 50% by giving Rodney Strasser to Genoa in the summer of 2013, with the midfielder valued at €3.5m, meaning Constant ‘cost’ €7.5m all told. It is cases like this that encouraged the FIGC to abolish co-ownership deals, because there were instances where they were used for plusvalenza. Constant is clearly not worth €7.5m, but through creative accounting and shifting of players, Milan and Genoa can claim to have a €7.5m asset on their books. The Stephan El Shaarawy/Alexander Merkel transfer between the two was an even more ludicrous example.
- Cristian Zaccardo cost €3m. He was exchanged for Djamel Mesbah, who was valued at €3m, plus the loan of Strasser until the end of the 2012/13 season.
- Co-ownership of Andrea Poli cost €3m, of which Milan had to pay €1.4m. The rest was covered by giving Sampdoria 50% of Bartosz Salamon, who was valued at €1.6m.
- Matias Silvestre’s loan, widely reported as costing €1m for the season when the operation was completed in August 2013, actually cost €500,000.
- How lucrative are pre-season tours/friendlies? The €4.209m Milan made from ‘other competitions’ actually came from their pre-season tour to the USA, the Audi Cup pre-season tournament, and a friendly with Swiss club Young Boys. For comparison, they made €6.975m from a year’s worth of Serie A games (the latter half of 2012/13 season, and the first half of 2013/14 season) – not that much more than they made in one summer’s worth of friendlies. Expect to see Milan trying to reduce the loss of Champions League income with similar money-earning friendlies this season.
- How valuable is premium seating in stadia? In 2013, Sky Boxes and Sky Lounges brought in €4.76m (2012 – €5.792m), although that figure also accounts for money generated through holding non-sporting activities at the stadium (concerts etc.). Incidentally, Milan attributed the reduction from 2012 to the economic situation in Italy.