So far, so good…from a financial standpoint, at least.
While Roma have had a good season on the pitch with the Champions League quarterfinals and their current position in the league table, which would qualify them for the Champions League next season, they are also having a strong season from a financial point of view.
For the seasons 2015 until 2018, Roma entered into an agreement with UEFA regarding their new Financial Fair Play rules. Roma’s settlement agreement included a “break-even” clause by the financial year 2017-2018, which required the Giallorossi’s gains to be in-line with their losses for the financial year 2017-2018. Roma, however, fell just short of this break-even line by roughly €10 million. In recent weeks, the club met with UEFA to explain the reason for their deficit and expect to receive an answer from Europe’s governing body by April. Roma, though, expect any punishment from UEFA to be minimal, such as a fine or perhaps even a limit on their European roster.
One strength Roma will have in their corner is their latest financial gains from the current Champions League period, where the club have earned nearly €81 million in revenue — one of the highest figures in Europe.
The Giallorossi have been the beneficiaries of a number of things. For starters, Roma have earned €40.6 million in revenue from TV rights while Juve have earned €48.9 million and Napoli €21.1 million. Roma have benefitted from Napoli flaming out of the competition in the group stages, as the Giallorossi and Bianconeri are both in the quarterfinals. Both Roma and Juve, therefore, split Napoli’s share of the television market pool due to their elimination in the competition (Juve’s figure is higher because they finished higher than Roma in the Serie A table in the previous season).
All three Italian sides, though, earned an equal €12.7 million from UEFA for their participation in competition. Roma earned even more on top of this due to their success in the group stages of the competition as they earned €1.5 million per victory (against Chelsea and twice against Qarabag) plus €500,000 per draw (against Chelsea and Atletico) while you earn no extra revenue for a loss. Furthermore, an extra €395,000 is earned as a redistribution by UEFA to the clubs in the competition. So for their group stage participation, the Giallorossi earned €18.595 million.
After finishing first and earning a place in the knockout stages, the Giallorossi earned a further €6 million in revenue and earned another €6.5 million for defeating Shakhtar and progressing to the quarterfinals, totaling €12.5 million.
To recap (so far): €40.6 million (TV) + €18.595 million (Group stage and competition participation) + €12.5 million (knockout stage and quarterfinals) — €71.695 million.
The last missing figure is, of course, ticket sales. Roma have played four home matches so far in the Champions League this season. From these matches, the club have earned €1.773 million (versus Atletico), €2.994 million (versus Chelsea), €1.481 million (versus Qarabag), and €2.694 million (versus Shakhtar), totaling €8.942 million in ticket revenue.
€71.695 million + €8.942 million = €80.637 million
Financial Fair Play Implications
So now the biggest question: what does this mean in terms of Financial Fair Play?
When Roma met with UEFA earlier this year, they undoubtedly presented various best and worst case scenarios to the governing body:
Best case: Roma beat Shakhtar in the knockout stages and qualify for the Champions League quarterfinals while also finishing in the top four of Serie A and qualifying for next season’s Champions League
Next case: Roma lose to Shakhtar in the knockout stages but still finish the season in the top four of Serie A and qualify for next season’s Champions League
Worst case: Roma lose to Shakhtar in the knockout stages and fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League
As of now, Roma are headed towards the best case scenario, which would result in the highest potential gross revenue. The club will undoubtedly want to stay in the good graces of UEFA so they will likely continue their model of selling an important player for a substantial figure, especially considering the club’s overall income statement is still €40.3 million in the red (this includes old debts incurred by the club — remember, Roma were forced to break-even this financial year and also forced to lower their debt in previous seasons).
While the recent financial success is very positive, Roma are unlikely to drastically deviate from their transfer strategy. With the Stadio della Roma scheduled to begin construction later this year, the club will also want to ensure revenues remain steady.
Update: Roma to the semifinals
In sensational fashion, the Giallorossi have advanced to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League as they have eliminated Spanish giants Barcelona.
Thanks to their progression, Roma will earn a €7.5 million bonus from UEFA. Meanwhile, the Giallorossi earned an additional €3.6 million in ticket revenue from the second leg at the Stadio Olimpico. As for additional television revenue, Roma benefit from the elimination of Juve as they will now earn an additional portion of the market pool, in fact, an extra 6% of €55 million, or €3.3 million.
So thanks to their progression to the Champions League semifinals, Roma have earned a total of over €95 million.
Update: The final figure and summer implications
It was a near capacity Stadio Olimpico yesterday as the Giallorossi were eliminated on aggregate by only one goal.
AS Roma reported ticket revenue earnings of €5.5 million from yesterday’s showdown against Liverpool. Add that to the €95.037 million that Roma had already earned to this point, and the Giallorossi’s final earnings from the competition total €100.537 million — a club record.
Rome will now focus on securing qualification for next season’s Champions League, however, the outlook for this summer has drastically changed. Roma will not be forced to sell a big name for the sake of a plusvalenza, though, they could be tempted to make smaller sales, namely Lukasz Skorupski or perhaps Maxime Gonalons.
The figure above also does not include the recent sponsorship agreement that was born between Roma and Qatar Airways, which is worth €13 million annually.
Meanwhile, UEFA are expected to announce an update regarding their meeting with Roma in the coming weeks, but given the massive profits the club have made from the Champions League alone — any “punishment” the club may receive from falling short of their break-even requirement from the 2016-2017 financial year is expected to be minimal.
Nonetheless, Roma have done very well for themselves both on and off the pitch during this magical Champions League run — the benefits of which should be evident in the summer.