Lazio recently published its financial statement from July 1st to December 31st. These are important numbers that tell us how the Biancocelesti club is doing. Many other websites have talked about the topic, highlighting the fact that Manuel Lazzari was one of the most expensive purchases in the ‘Claudio Lotito Era’. However, the problem is that all these websites and articles have ignored the main aspect of the club’s budget.
Lazio: Revenue Too Low
While fantastic results have come from the field, the first six months of the new season for Lazio did not end economically positive. Let’s make one thing clear: the ‘big’ Italian clubs are definitely in worse situations than Lazio. But the fact that Lotito’s club closed the first six months last year (2018/19) with €7 million profit, while this year (2019/20) closed the first six months with €1 million in debt, is something that cannot go unnoticed. The problem of Lotito’s financial management is always the same: Lazio’s revenue is very low. If you go and compare the revenues of the Prima Squadra della Capitale with the other top teams, it’s very scary. In addition, Lazio lost their main sponsor (Marathon Bet) ahead of this season, which led to a loss of €4 million. While a €4 million loss for a club like Juventus means little to nothing, for Lazio – who has total revenues of around €70 million – it definitely has an impact. Although they had an increase in spectators, Lazio continues to survive – like almost all Italian teams – only thanks to television rights deals; despite putting the money collected from the qualifications for the UEFA Europa League towards these first six months, Lazio still remained unable to close the balance in a surplus.
Lazio: Salary Problem
So what happened? Why is Lazio in the red? This is mainly because Lotito started raising the salaries of the club’s top players. If you want to keep Ciro Immobile, Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic you have to raise their salaries; Lazio did this and now the salary pool is having an important impact on Lazio’s budget. In order for the club to maintain this approach – which is to increase salaries, even exceeding the €2 million limit (which has already been done for Immobile) – Lazio must increase its revenues significantly. Otherwise, Claudio Lotito’s company is destined to end up in bad water. Note, the stakes of Financial Fair Play are still far away, but as a manager of a company, you have to look to the future not only to the present. So Lazio is doomed? No, but qualifying for the UEFA Champions League is fundamental if they want to get out of this situation.
UEFA Champions League: The Solution
With the qualification for the European competition, €40 million is guaranteed to the club, which would bring Lazio’s budget back into profit. In addition, with the Champions League, one would imagine that various sponsors would be ready to hop on the Lazio shirt. In short, with the Champions League, Lazio could reach the profits of the ‘big’ Italian sides and finally be able to compete with the other ‘big’ clubs from around the world. For this reason, the qualification for the Champions League is very important for Lazio because it will finally bring important revenues, allowing Claudio Lotito to offer higher salaries to the Lazio players and at the same time to go on the market and acquire other top players to improve the squad.