Italy's Serie A turns a profit for the first time in 17 years

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Italy's Serie A turns a profit for the first time in 17 years
More than half of Italy's Serie A teams posted a net profit last season. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Serie A clubs have generated a net collective profit for the first time in 17 years but remain in a precarious position and are too reliant on television rights money, according to a report on Monday.


Mired in debt and mediocrity following the golden era of the 1990s and early 2000s, Serie A's clubs last year registered collective losses of €222 million, the Gazzetta dello Sport reported, only a slight improvement on the previous season's losses of €365 million.

For the first time since the 1999-2000 season, Italy's top flight is back in the black, with 11 of the league's 20 clubs posting net profits. Nine remain in the red.

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Top of the pile, according to the report, are southern giants Napoli, with €66.6 million of net profit last season, followed by Juventus (€42.6 million) and Lazio (€11.4 million).

Yet any enthusiasm on the part of Serie A aficionados is tempered by the fact that other league giants are struggling financially, the league as a whole has a growing debt and a growing reliance on cash generated by television rights.

Seven-time European champions AC Milan, taken over by a Chinese consortium last year, posted losses of €74.9 million. Roma (€41.7 million) and Inter (€24.6 million) were also in the red.

Gazzetta's report also underlined Serie A's growing debt. For the first time, Serie A's collective debt surpassed €2 billion (€2.1 billion), compared to €1.87 billion last year.

Television rights also represent 56 percent of the league's total revenues, ahead of brand merchandising (22 percent) and match-day ticket sales (10 percent).



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