Italian Football Clubs Suffer $1.5 Billion Loss, Marking Their Worst Financial Performance in 15 Years

**Italian Football Clubs Record Worst Loss in Fifteen Years**

Italian football clubs have experienced their worst cumulative loss in fifteen years, despite significant investments from international investors. The net loss for the season ending in June 2022 totals €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion), according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

**Investor Interest in Italian Football**

Recently, Italian football has attracted interest from US firms such as RedBird, 777 Partners, and Oaktree. While these investments have improved teams’ performance in European competitions, they have not resulted in healthier finances. The decline in ticket sales and broadcast revenues has contributed to the financial struggles of these clubs.

**Financial Impact of the Covid Pandemic**

The losses for the 2020-2021 season amounted to €1.3 billion, primarily due to the impact of the Covid pandemic. Furthermore, debt rose by over 4% the following year, with overall indebtedness surpassing €5.6 billion in 2021-2022, as reported by PwC.

**Sponsorship Revenue Decline**

The revenue from broadcast rights in Italy’s Serie A, Serie B, and Serie C leagues decreased from €1.38 billion in 2018-2019 to €1.25 billion in 2021-2022. Sponsorship, another important source of revenue, has also declined by 3% over the past four years.

**Reliance on the Domestic Market**

Serie A, the primary league in Italy, heavily relies on the domestic market. More than 80% of contracts attached to Italian sponsors, while only 53% of contracts in England originate in-country. As a result, Italian clubs face greater challenges in diversifying their revenue streams.

**Social Media Engagement**

Italian league teams rank third in terms of engagement across major social media platforms, following England and Spain. However, France and Germany are quickly catching up in terms of follower numbers.

**Investment Opportunities in the UK**

In contrast to the challenges faced by Italian clubs, the UK football landscape is dominated by private equity-backed clubs and foreign cash. Chelsea FC, for instance, is reportedly approaching investors to raise capital following a disappointing season under Clearlake Capital and American investor Todd Boehly’s ownership.

**Ongoing Deals in Italy**

Despite the setbacks, investment deals continue to take place in Italy. Unione Calcio Sampdoria SpA, a club based in Genoa, received a €40 million bid from a group of investors that included Andrea Radrizzani, the former controlling shareholder of the English club Leeds United.

**Goldman Sachs Considers Financing for Serie A**

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is considering providing financing to Serie A to support the development of its media business. The top Italian league has faced challenges in securing backers in recent years.

In conclusion, Italian football clubs have encountered significant financial difficulties, despite attracting international investors. The decline in ticket sales, broadcast revenues, and sponsorship deals has contributed to the worst cumulative loss in fifteen years. However, investment opportunities still exist, as seen in ongoing deals and potential financing from firms like Goldman Sachs. Italian clubs will need to diversify their revenue streams and seek new sources of financial support to sustainably navigate these challenges.

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