AC Milan post record full-year loss as COVID-19 bites

FILE PHOTO: The AC Milan logo is pictured on a pennant in a soccer store in downtown Milan, Italy April 29, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - The novel coronavirus crisis pushed Italian top-flight soccer club AC Milan further into the red in the financial year through June, resulting in a record 195 million euro ($230 mln) loss for the outfit owned by U.S. investment fund Elliott.

Like other European soccer clubs, the seven-times European Champions are grappling with plummeting revenues due to closed-door matches to stem the spread of the virus and rebates on pay-TV deals sought by broadcasters.

The head of Italy’s top-flight league warned earlier this month that the industry was on the brink of collapse, saying Serie A had lost more than 500 million euros in revenue due to the virus.

Milan had reported a 146 million euro loss during the previous financial year.

Net of one-off items, the financial results would had shown a significant improvement, Milan said in a note, adding that the club and their owner remained confident they were moving in the right direction to revive the club’s fortunes.

Milan are currently level on points with Atalanta at the top of Serie A after finishing sixth last season, when they suffered a one-year ban from European competition for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

Under FFP, clubs are barred from spending more than the revenue they generate themselves with the regulations designed to stop rich club owners from buying success.

Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Ken Ferris