Serie A has lost €500m due to Covid-19, says chief executive de Siervo
The coronavirus pandemic has hit Serie A to the tune of €500 million ($584.25 million), Luigi de Siervo, chief executive of Italian soccer's top flight, has conceded.
The loss of revenues has come from all three main streams - media rights, sponsorship and ticketing - de Siervo told Rai, the Italian public-service broadcaster.
It's annual revenues are around €2.5 billion.
Italian clubs are allowed a small number of fans in stadia for the 2020-21 season - a maximum of 1,000 per match - but de Siervo wants the government to increase the limit to 25 per cent of stadium capacity.
He said: "Football does not want privileged treatments compared to the rest of the country, but it also does not want to be disadvantaged. In the stadium there are large open spaces, we can distance people."
The revenue loss highlights Serie A's desire for outside investment, with tomorrow the deadline for private equity firms to submit the final bids for a stake in a new company alongside the league that would manage its media rights.
US firm Bain and Italy's NB have proposed taking a 10 per cent stake in the new company valued at €1.35 billion, with the Mediapro agency involved, and they are up against a consortium of three private equity firms - CVC Capital Partners, Advent and Italian state-backed fund FSI - whose deal, also for 10 per cent, is valued at €1.625 billion.
The 20 Serie A clubs have already decided to proceed with private equity investment, and could choose their partners at next week's general assembly.
On the next domestic rights cycle - three-year deals with pay-TV's Sky and OTT platform DAZN end this season - de Siervo said: “We are attracting the interest of large international platforms, such as Amazon and Netflix, and we hope that football will return to the centre of the relationship between technologies and platforms.”
Sky and DAZN are paying a combined €973 million per season, while the IMG agency handles international media and other commercial rights to Serie A in an agreement worth more than €360 million per annum.
Infront Italy, de Siervo's former employer, has a six-year, €5.94 billion minimum guarantee agreement to act as Serie A's exclusive adviser on both domestic and international media rights that expires next year.