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Italy Serie A


The quest for a marquee signing

The current transfer window in Europe has been dominated by a quest for marquee signings. However, there are not that many really outstanding players available. When demand is strong but supply is limited and finite, strange things happen to price. Hence Real Madrid's willingness to pay over £100m for Gareth Bale, far more than he is worth.

Roma goes for US style branding

American chairman James Pallotta wants to use US-style branding and management to turn AS Roma into a profitable venture. At present Manchester United is worth some $3.9bn and Roma at less than $200m, but the Boston-based hedge fund manager aims to bridge that chasm. It's not an easy task because Serie A is the least profitable of Europe's top leagues.

The challenge facing Italian football

Whichever one thinks is now the best football league in Europe, it is generally accepted that Serie A lags behind La Liga, the Bundesliga and the Premier League.   In an interview with the Financial Times, Andrea Agnelli, the 37-year old president of Juventus said, 'Italian football, as much as Italy, needs structural reforms.   In football, you need a concerted effort: violence, stadiums, trademark protections.'

The contrasting challenges of Serie A and Serie B

There are some signs of improvement in the finances of Italian Serie A clubs with the overall level of club debt down, although it remains substantial.   It is thought that Uefa's financial fair play rules are having an impact on the financial discipline shown by clubs.

Would Uefa's FFP rules stand up in court?

We have consistently taken the view that Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) rules are open to challenge in court.    It is therefore interesting to see Belgian lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont, who was part of the team who won the Bosman case in 1995, arguing a similar case in the Wall Street Journal.

Real Madrid break through €500m revenue threshold

Real Madrid has become the first club in any sport to surpass the €500m revenue threshold in a single year, according to the 16th edition of the Football Money League from Deloitte, the business advisory firm. The Spanish club achieved a €33.1m (7%) increase in revenue to €512.6m, and in doing so has claimed the top position in the Money League for a record equalling eighth year, matching Manchester United’s reign from 1996/97 to 2003/04.

Italian football is crumbling rapidly

Andre Agnelli, the president of Juventus, has delivered a stark warning about the state of Italian football. Of course, it has been recognised for some time that Serie A has lost the status it once enjoyed alongside La Liga and the Premiership.  A series of corruption and match fixing scandals, the extent to which clubs are beholden to their 'ultras' and poor performances have all contributed to a sense of decline.

Qatar stake in AC Milan?

In between sorting out his other problems, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been looking for foreign investment for AC Milan who need a shot in the arm to revive their fortunes.   It looks as if his boat may have come in.

Chinese buy into Inter

A group of Chinese investors is set to become Inter Milan's second biggest shareholder following the club's agreement to sell a block of shares.   Inter's objective is to raise its profiles among Asian fans so as to raise new resources.

The investors including a company controlled by China Railway Corporation.   They will develop a new football stadium with Internazionale Holding, the football club's parent, for completion in 2017.   Inter currently shares the San Siro with rivals AC Milan.

It all kicks off at Lazio

Apart from having their captain arrested in a match fixing scandal, it is unclear where Rome's Lazio will play next season.  It could be 400 miles away from the Eternal City as Claudio Lotito, the club's president, has registered Palmero's Barbera ground as the home venue for Lazio's Europa League games next season.