AC Milan President Paolo Scaroni has voiced his concerns about the future of Serie A, particularly in light of the widening gap between Italy’s top flight and the Premier League in terms of international TV rights.
Scaroni was one of the key speakers at the 'Sport Industry Talk' organised by RCS in Milan on Tuesday. During his speech, he highlighted his worries about how Serie A is falling behind its English counterpart, especially when it comes to securing lucrative international television rights deals.
Milan president concerned about the gap between Serie A and Premier League TV revenues
The disparity between these two leagues is a cause for concern as it could potentially affect not only their global reach but also their financial stability. The Premier League has been successful in securing high-value contracts with broadcasters worldwide, which significantly contributes to its clubs' revenues.
Paolo Scaroni, president of AC Milan, said:
“We have the oldest and ugliest stadiums in Europe. Milan earn €35m from our stadium, Premier League clubs more than €100m. I take responsibility. I’ve never managed to convince the city council about how much Milan needed the best stadium in the world, paid by private investors."
“As for Serie A and Italian football, I am worried. Things ended decently on the Italian TV rights front, but we still can’t get what we want internationally. We earn €200m, while the Premier League get €2.2 billion.
“We are closing the gap because our clubs have been doing well in Europe lately but if the Growth Decree is scratched, we’ll take a huge step back. Only the quality of the game can convince the public to watch Serie A instead of other leagues."
In addition to discussing broader issues affecting Italian football, Scaroni also shed light on AC Milan's long-term plans. One significant project that he mentioned was building a new club-owned stadium.
Milan plan to build new stadium just outside the city
The Rossoneri are planning to construct this new arena slightly outside the city of Milan, specifically in the area of San Donato. This move signifies an ambitious step forward for AC Milan as they aim to enhance their facilities and provide an improved experience for fans.
Reflecting on recent events within Serie A, Scaroni touched upon Juventus' unfortunate circumstances during the 2022-23 campaign where they were docked 10 points due to financial irregularities.
This penalty resulted in them slipping down to seventh place from what would have been a fifth-place finish with 70 points - just two fewer than AC Milan.
UEFA further punished Juventus by suspending them from European competitions for one year. This decision allowed Fiorentina to secure a Conference League spot for the 2023-24 season.
Scaroni reflects on Milan Champions League qualification
Meanwhile, AC Milan formally earned a Champions League berth by finishing fourth in the league. This achievement marks an important milestone for the club and provides a positive outlook for their future endeavours.
While Scaroni's concerns about Serie A's future are valid, it is clear that AC Milan is taking proactive steps to secure their future. The planned new stadium and their recent Champions League qualification are a testament to this commitment.
However, it remains crucial for Serie A as a whole to address these challenges and work towards closing the gap with leagues like the Premier League.