Why Serie A might be on the verge of a financial crisis

Serie A’s financial situation is expected to get worse in the next year or so because of the broadcast deal with DAZN that is set to expire next year.

La Repubblica have reported on some details about the situation, providing some context to the scenario too. 2024 is expected to be the year of downsizing for Serie A because the TV rights contract with DAZN expires in the summer.

Their previous deal with Sky had run out in 2021 and after some bitter quarrels, they had ended up signing the deal with DAZN on much lower terms than what the Sky deal offered. The total price of the DAZN deal was €930 million a year, earning which now seems like a far-fetched idea for the league.

It is stated that the clubs had financial worries even when the more lucrative Sky deal was in place and that continues to be the case with DAZN. There are fears that the league may not earn more than around €700 million in the next deal.

Lazio owner Claudio Lotito is also a member of the Italian senate and he has made attempts to seek help from the government regarding the issue. He has been supported by the 20 Serie A clubs in his attempts to have a two-year-long extension in place but the plea has been rejected, even though Lotito is the Vice President of the Budget Commission.

Lotito is expected to try again and he could also look to propose the idea of a two-year extension via Paramount or Amazon, with both parties said to be attentive to Serie A’s product. Clubs are also looking to bring about laws that limit piracy as the problem leads to clubs losing about €300 million per season.

A Plan B which is being considered is the idea of investment funds backing the league. A meeting involving the 20 teams is expected to take place on the 24th of February about this. Back in the 2020/21 season, CVC had an agreement with Serie A to buy 10 percent of revenue in exchange for €1.7 billion but that didn’t go through because Juventus, Inter and Milan then deciding to join the Super League.

Lega Serie A knows that some parties are interested but the terms of any deal will be different. Funds will demand the full revenue of Serie A, instead of a certain percentage. While this is a popular idea, there is no clarity about how Serie A will improve its own structures even if it does get over €1 billion of money from funds. If the money is not invested in improving the league’s infrastructure, youth development and creating an official broadcast platform which helps clubs eradicate copyright problems, the move can backfire.

Essentially, Serie A is on the verge of financial collapse and things could take a drastic turn soon.



Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN

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