Many Italian teams have worse losses than AS Roma
November 07, 2019
The authoritative Swiss Ramble reflects on ASRoma's 2018/19 accounts which cover a season that the owner James Pallotta harshly described as 'a complete disaster'. They fell from 3rd to 6th in Serie A and exited the Champions League at the last 16 (compared to the semi-finals in 2017/18).
The loss before tax improved from €18m to €15m, despite revenue falling €17m (7%) from €253m to €236m & €63m cost growth. Offset by profit on player sales rising €75m to €129m. Revenue fell €17m (7%) to €236m, mainly due to less progress in Champions League: TV down €22m (13%) to €145m, match day down €5m (14%) to €34m. However, commercial was up €10m (21%) to €55m.
Despite the decrease in 2018/19, ASRoma's €236m revenue remains the third highest in Italy, but it is now less than half of Juventus’ €495m and a substantial €140m behind Inter €373m. Roma’s revenue mix: broadcasting 61%, commercial 23%, match day 14% and player loans 1%.m. Including player trading, revenue up €61m (19%) from €320m to €381m.
In the last 3 years, ASRoma have only grown revenue by €15m (7%), while Inter (up €194m) and Juventus (up €123m) have powered ahead. In the same period, they have also been outpaced by Atalanta, Napoli and Lazio. Only Milan have a lower rate of growth.
Revenue figures highlight the importance of qualifying for Europe, particularly the Champions League. The 2018/19 revenue of €236m was greatly influenced by €66m from Europe’s leading tournament (TV €58m + match day €8m), though not as much as prior year’s €98m.
AS Roma have earned an impressive €282m from Europe in the last 5 seasons, only surpassed in Italy by Juventus’ €447m, but comfortably ahead of Napoli €185m, Inter €67m and Lazio €59m. Will receive lower money in 2019/20, due to only qualifying for Europa League.
The €15m loss before tax is not great, but is by no means the worst in Italy, as seen by Milan’s huge €143m loss, followed by Inter €40m and Juve €27m. Just over half the clubs in Serie A lose money. The most profitable are Atalanta €35m, Sampdoria €19m & Sassuolo €13m.
The last time that ASRoma reported a profit before tax was back in 2009 – and that was just €3m. Since then, they have suffered losses 10 years in a row, adding up to a hefty €286m. In fairness, the losses have fallen for the last two seasons.
Profit on player sales is increasingly important for ASRoma, averaging €93m a year over last three years. Excluding this activity, 2018/19 loss would have been €144m. This season the only notable sales to date are El Shaaraway and Gerson, though January window still to come.
After many delays the mayor of Rome has approved the new stadium. Pallotta: 'If we want to consistently compete with the largest teams in Europe, we need the stadium.'
Pallotta noted, 'FFP is a reality for us and it has dictated many of our actions.' It is therefore problematic that ASRoma failed to qualify for the 2019/20 Champions League, as the Europa League is far less lucrative. Long-term the new stadium is a must for a sustainable model.