BARBARA BERLUSCONI: “The competition in Europe has been undervalued”

MILAN –The club’s Vice-President Barbara Berlusconi also spoke about the current state of Italian football in an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo Italia:"The competition from other European clubs has been undervalued. As the seasons have gone by, they’ve increased their market share, taking away important chunks of income from our clubs. In 2000, 3 of the top 5 clubs in Europe in terms of revenue came from Italy. We’re now further behind. The future business model in football is a mixture of sporting success and the ability to obtain important commercial, financial and managerial results. The ones who are able to gain the best results out on the pitch will be the ones who have the best structure and commercial strategies in place. A worthy example comes from Germany, with clubs that own their own stadiums and have a lot of sponsorship. They have an exemplary system with financially stable clubs, sold-out stadiums, commercial strategies in place and lots of young players in the teams. We have to also remember that football isn’t just a business for those who earn millions of euros, but also creates lots of employment opportunities.”Commenting on football today in Italy: "In our country, football generates 8 billion euros and it also creates revenues of more than one million euros for the state. For this reason, we can’t pretend that this is like any other form of entertainment. Milan’s aim is to find talented youths before they become world class players and before the cost to get hold of them becomes too high for us. Our main challenge is also to increase our revenue. Only in this manner can we finance ourselves, improve the structure of the club and afford extra top players. It’s a medium-term goal in which we won’t see the results until at least after 3 years.”