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SS Lazio debts grow as much as payments to its president’s other firms

by Gianni Dragoni

Italy's Serie A soccer club SS Lazio reported a net profit of €7 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, helped by €23 million of capital gains from the transfer market, despite revenues falling 41.7%.

The club led by president Claudio Lotito however pushed back the payment of players' wages from May until September, according to the earnings statement. At the end of June, Lazio owed €13 million to players and staff. This is higher than a monthly salary payment (June in this case), as wages totalled €52.31 million in the 12-month fiscal year (down from €64.26 million the earlier season).

Net financial debt increased by over €10 million to reach €16.86 million at the end of June. But total debt was higher, including €116.9 million of non-financial debt. The figure is however lower than €6.53 million reported in the previous fiscal year. It includes €59 million of outstanding debt that Lazio will gradually pay to the national revenue agency by 2028, down from over €140 million a year before.

Net of transfer market gains, revenues dropped to €61.38 million from €105.4 million, hit by lower TV rights (€56.3 million versus €70.7 million). Lazio played fewer games in the Europa League and Coppa Italia tournaments, and fans missed some home games in protest against the president. As a result, ticket revenues fell by €2.7 million to €4 million. Subscriptions slightly increased to €3.04 million from €2.86 million.

Lotito ensured profitability through capital gains, but weakened the team. The club earned €28.5 million from selling Anderson Hernanes to Inter Milan for €20 million (with €15.7 million capital gains), while Libor Kozac moved to Aston Villa for €6.5 million (€6.15 million of gains) and Sergio Floccari joined Sassuolo for €2 million (€1.13 million of net gains). On the other side, Lotito bought Lucas Biglia and Felipe Anderson for €18.81 million.

However, external services costs increased to €21.33 million from €18.7 million, with administrative costs nearly doubling to €10.5 million from €5.5 million. These include expenses towards Lotito's personal companies, as Lazio is listed on the stock exchange and has minority shareholders. In the past season, Lazio reported costs for services and work with “related parties”, or companies that Lotito owns in full or in part, for €10.34 million, double than €5.4 million the year before.