The 2014 Milan accounts

The adjustment to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play scheme, Milan spending big money on players again, and the seemingly never-ending takeover saga with Bee Taechaubol and his 48%, have all put the spotlight on Milan’s finances. Can they afford to spend €30m on one player? Where is Taechaubol’s money coming from? What exactly is his consortium buying into?

The accounts for the year ending 2014 were approved back in April, and give an idea of the challenge faced by any investor:

  • Milan made a net loss of €99m.
  • Turnover is down to just over €200m.
  • Expenses have increased to €294m.
  • The wage bill (on players) has increased to €116m.
  • Net debt is up to €340m.

The full balance sheet, in English, can be viewed here.

The following is a breakdown of the various sources of Milan’s income and expenses. Note that everything you read here is for the football club only. You may see numbers on other sites that are slightly different to these – they are talking about Gruppo Milan, which comprises the football club, plus Milan Real Estate and Milan Entertainment. That said, the football club is main contributor to the group, so the figures are broadly similar.

TURNOVER (€200.040m; 2013 – €278.713m)

Matchday revenue

Matchday revenue equated to €26.056m in 2014, which isn’t too dissimilar to the 2013 figure. Domestic gate receipts grew a little, to €14.728m, largely thanks to a small increase in ticket prices – €12.398m of that came from Serie A matches. Another €2.147m came from the club’s round of 16 match against Atlético Madrid (remember that?).

Season ticket sales hit a new nadir – last year’s 23,490 was a record low for the Silvio Berlusconi era, and Milan broke that for 2014/15 with 19,504, amounting to just €7.452m in revenue.

Other competitions contributed €3.875m. As ever, a large chunk of this was from pre-season tours to the USA and other tournaments, mid-season friendlies, plus Italy’s Euro 2016 qualifying match versus Croatia in November 2014.

Commercial revenue

Trusty sources Emirates, as shirt sponsor, and Adidas, as kit supplier, offered their usual contributions to Milan’s commercial income. Emirates gave €12.25m for the shirt sponsorship – a pathetic amount for a shirt deal relative to other clubs. This is down on €500,000 from 2013 – a missing bonus payment – due to Milan’s failure to qualify for the Champions League for the 2014/15 season.

Adidas’ €17.574m contribution is more than 2013 (which was €17.347m), albeit not by much. These accounts are the first full year with the new Adidas deal, signed in October 2013, which resulted in an extension of the expiry to 2023 (previously 2017), plus an improvement in terms. Neither Milan nor Adidas released financial details at the time, and the 2013 accounts were too early to work out what the basic agreement was, but it appears to be around €17m. The previous deal had a basic of €14m – so it is a small improvement, but still behind what other clubs are receiving from their kit suppliers.

A further €9.823m came from Adidas as part of the contract – most of which is presumably the Master License, which allows Adidas to suggest commercial partners and use Milan’s logo on a variety of products. This is listed under the trading and royalties item on the balance sheet.

You may notice that this item is down considerably on 2013 – this, along with the loss of UEFA TV money mentioned later, is the biggest reason for loss of turnover. Last year’s accounts had just over €28m earned from a contract between Milan Entertainment and various partners of the football club, which does not feature on the 2014 balance sheet.

Aside from the big ticket deals, Milan have a number of smaller commercial agreements – the ones that Milan announce from time to time with companies that fall into categories such as ‘gaming partner’, ‘media partner’ etc. There’s a list of them on their website, which you can find here. Those agreements generated €3.983m in 2014.

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning Keisuke Honda. A lot was made at the time of his arrival of the commercial impact he could have on the club in Asia. Milan listed €1.35m worth of income from an ‘international partner’ for Honda’s image rights in Japan.

Milan signed deals with two Japanese partners in 2014 – Toyo Tire and Rubber Company, and Fujitsu – off the back of Honda coming to the club, so the figure will refer to one of them. La Gazzetta dello Sport thought the Fujitsu deal was worth €3m over the two years, equating to €1.5m per season. This is not far off the €1.35m the accounts stated, so it could well be Fujitsu.

On a related note, if you have a spare three minutes and want to know how Toyo Tires have been using their rights to the Milan brand, here is a cringeworthy bit of advertising featuring the two.

TV income

Domestic TV revenue increased a little, from €77.5m in 2013 to just under €80m in 2014. This is due to the TV deal having annual increases written into the contract when it was signed in 2012. It was worth €983m in 2013-14, compared to €966m the season before.

Unfortunately, and as expected, the reduction UEFA TV money has hit the club hard. They made €9.845m in 2014, thanks to the Atlético Madrid match, down from €42.095m in 2013.

EXPENSES (€294.139m; 2013 – €278.655m)

Expenses were up by just under €16m. The majority of that came from an increase in the players’ wage bill – up to €116m in 2014, from €99m in 2013. The players also earned €3.987m in bonuses in 2014. This all means that Milan paid more to the players in 2014 for the second half of a season where they finished eighth, and the first half of a season where they finished ninth, than they did in 2013, which featured half of a season where they finished in the top three.

Another contributing factor to the increase in outgoings was the €7.5m Milan has allocated for future expenses to sacked coaches. This refers to Clarence Seedorf, who signed a contract for €2.5m a season in January 2014, expiring in June 2016. As vice-president Adriano Galliani explained in his letter to the shareholders, Milan have chosen to allocate the entire fee due to Seedorf in the 2014 accounts, rather than split it down into chunks and account them across 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Other points worth noting here:

  • A new expense in the 2014 accounts is the lease for the Casa Milan offices. These are costing Milan €2.325m per year.
  • It cost €333,000 to get rid of Kaká a year early.
  • Amortisation of players increased a little from 2013, to €51.679m. Milan are still paying the fees of a number of players who have contributed very little, or turned out to be poor purchases, including: Alessandro Matri (€2.75m), Giampaolo Pazzini (€4.33m), Cristian Zapata (€2.6m), Robinho (€2.35m) and Valter Birsa (€1.01m).


As ever, Fininvest covered the full deficit on the balance sheet, with a payment of just over €53m due to cover the remainder of the €99m loss they have not already covered.

NET DEBT (€339.574m; 2013 – €256.362m)

Net debt has increased in 2014, which is a shame given that Milan were showing a positive trend in reducing net debt each year in the last few accounting periods.

Bank debt has reduced by around €3m, and debts to other institutions have also reduced by just under €30m. But overall net debt has increased because of a €131.294m deficit to Milan Entertainment – part of Gruppo Milan – for various services.


A few other interesting bits and pieces, that didn’t really fit into the commentary above:

  • Marco van Ginkel cost €250,000 to loan until December. The remainder of his loan fee will feature in the 2015 accounts, which presumably will be another €250,000. So he cost €500,000 to loan for 2014/15.
  • Pablo Armero also cost €250,000 for the half season until December.
  • Kevin Constant was sold for €2.5m to Trabzonspor. Milan made an accounting loss of €3.318m on him.
  • Bryan Cristante was sold for €4.975m to Benfica.
  • Balotelli was sold for €20m to Liverpool. Liverpool still owe Milan just over €13m from that transfer. Milan made €4.33m on him in the accounts, due to a book value at the time of sale of €15.667m.
  • Incredibly, West Ham paid Milan €1.188m to take Antonio Nocerino on loan from January 2014 for six months.
  • Milan accounted a €700,000 payment from Genoa for the loan of Matri. Given that his loan was for the entire season, this will only relate to the first half of 2014/15. There will probably be another €700,000 payment in next year’s accounts, meaning Genoa will have paid €1.4m to loan Matri for 2014/15.

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