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Italy Serie A

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Juventus look good in Serie A

Accounts for Serie A clubs for the 2015-16 season are now complete and Juventus come out on top on a number of criteria.   Data from the author of the Swiss Ramble blog.

Juventus had the highest revenues at €351m. more than €100m ahead of Roma on €234m.   The importance of Champions League success in television revenues is readily apparent.  Juventus and Roma reached the group stages and they received a total of €195m and €154m respectively.  Juventus had the highest wage bill at €221m, followed by Milan on €204m.

The financial rewards of the Champions League

Juventus will earn €115m if they win the Champions League (€98m up to now) while Real Madrid will earn €82m (€67m up to now).   Barcelona have earned €59m. These figures come from the author of the Swiss Ramble blog.

In the Premier League, Leicester City earned €78m through their progress to the quarter finals.  Arsenal earned €62m, indicating how much they stand to lose if they do not qualify this year.  Manchester City brought in €48m and Tottenham Hotspur €42m.

The Chinese derby

This weekend's game between AC Milan and Inter Milan was billed as the 'Chinese derby' with both clubs now having Chinese owners.  The lunchtime kick off was ideal for the Chinese market.

Inter's majority owner is a Chinese retailer with revenues in excess of £15bn..   The group has experience in football. owning Jiangsu Sining, runners up in the Chinese Super League last season.

Win-win for Berlusconi

In August, after nearly three decades at the helm of A.C. Milan, Silvio Berlusconi announced that he had sold his 99.93 per cent stake in the club to a Chinese investment group called Sino Europe for €520m (about £450m).

According to the terms of the deal, Sino Europe made an immediate down payment of about £85m, the rest to be paid in December.   This down payment was non-refundable.

Premiership clubs make profit in transfer window

Premier League clubs made a net profit of £4m in the transfer window compared with a loss of £109m last year, according to figures from the Premier League. This January's transfer window saw the biggest spend ever of £237m, compared with £178m last year. Sales amounted to £241m.

According to figures from Deloitte Sports Business, the gross spend by Premier League clubs in the 2016/17 season totals £1.4 billion, surpassing the previous record of £1 billion by more than a third.

Juventus need to globalise

Juventus made an operating profit of €4.1m on revenues of €397.9m in the financial year.   This is a respectable outcome, and a small improvement on the preceding year, but concerns remain.

The club remains highly reliant on television money.  Its commercial revenue amounted to €73.5m in a year compared with €278.1m at Bayern Munich.

The story behind the £1 billion headline

Media attention has focused on the fact that the 2016 summer transfer window was the first in which over £1 billion was spent (£1,071.5m in total), but it has to be remembered that this is a gross figure. The net figure was £612.9m, still very substantial.  For example, in summer 2014 the net figure was £374m.

Power grab by top European clubs

Uefa will guarantee more places for clubs from Europe's top football leagues in the Champions League, in a power shift towards the wealthiest teams.  The move, which follows threats from rich clubs to create a breakaway competition, will ensure more places for teams from Europe's largest television markets, but to the detriment of smaller nations.

The match fixing problem

The immense growth in football betting in recent decades has increased the incentives for criminals to attempt to engage in match fixing and sometimes they find players who are willing to take part.  It's a long way from the days of people filling in the football 'coupon' and hoping to find instant riches.

According to Swiss outfit Sportsradar something like €375 billion of bets are placed each year on football matches.   Their fraud detection unit thinks that about one per cent of matches have been rigged.

Chinese group buys AC Milan

The Chinese long march into European football continues with the acqusition of AC Milan from Silvio Berlusconi by a state-backed Chinese group.   Finnvest, the holding company controlled by Mr Berlusconi, has stated that it has signed a preliminary contract with a group of Chinese investors for a 99.93 per cent stake in AC Milan that valued the club at €740m including debts of €220m.