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AC Milan halves full-year losses as TV revenue rises

AC Milan halves full-year losses as TV revenue rises

The AC Milan logo is pictured on a pennant in a soccer store in downtown Milan, Italy, on Apr 29, 2015. (Photo: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)

MILAN: AC Milan halved its full-year loss as the Serie A Italian football club's improved pitch performance boosted TV revenues and limited pandemic damage, it said on Tuesday.

Controlled by US investment fund Elliott, the seven-time European champions reported a loss of €96.4 million (US$112.2 million) for the year-ending Jun 30, compared with a record 194.6 million loss the previous year.

"Positive sports performance in the domestic league and participation in UEFA Europa League lifted audiovisual rights income by some €75 million," the club said in a statement after its annual shareholder meeting. Its TV rights revenue totalled €63.4 million the year before.

The club estimated that COVID-19 reduced 2020-2021 earnings by €55 million, including the loss of ticket sales due to closed-door matches to stem contagion. Total revenue rose by 36 per cent to €261.1 million.

After playing in the UEFA Europa League last season, AC Milan qualified for the Champions League for the first time since 2013-2014 as it finished second in Italy's top flight soccer league. The Rossoneri, as the team is nicknamed, are now on the top of Serie A standings after nine matches.

"If we manage to qualify for Champions League, and this is our goal, it's not unthinkable zeroing our losses within next two years," club chairman Paolo Scaroni told journalists during an online press briefing.

AC Milan and city rival Inter Milan have resumed talks with local authorities over long-standing plans for a new stadium to replace the nearly century-old San Siro. The proposal, partly delayed by the pandemic, is seen as crucial to compete with top European rivals which own stadiums.

To speed up the negotiations, the clubs are now suggesting to focus discussions on the stadium as they are reviewing a wider real estate project for the district surrounding the arena.

"Let's start with the stadium, and then we can talk about the real estate plan," Scaroni said.

Source: Reuters

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