Lazio director of sport Igli Tare sparked controversy by claiming Juventus, Inter, Roma and Milan ‘have technically got bankrupt, but they are kept alive because the system needs them.’
The former striker spoke at an event at the LUISS University in Rome on the evolution of sport and the economic profiles of clubs.
His lecture raised a few eyebrows, as while Paris Saint-Germain are about to announce a reported €300m loss for the financial year, Tare aimed his rage closer to home.
“There are only four clubs in Italy that are still owned by families: Udinese, Atalanta, Lazio and Napoli,” said Tare, although technically Atalanta are now co-owned by an American fund.
“I am in favour of that type of ownership, because multi-national corporations only have commercial interests and you lose the joy of football, that passion and love for the sport.
“Those funds work with algorithms and don’t care about the history of the club or the city. I am an old-school fan. This is my 15th year at Lazio, I am fortunate to work with a club that has a virtuous approach to finances.
“Today there are clubs, such as Juventus, Roma, Milan and Inter, who are technically bankrupt, but they are kept alive because the system needs them.
“It is important that we have more clubs who look to the long-term with projects.”
Juventus recently set a new all-time Serie A record by posting losses of €254.3m, beating the previous record set by Inter last year of €245.6m.
Yet it was Lazio who were blocked from signing any new players last summer because they lacked liquidity, so President Lotito had to add another €10m to the capital.
Tare also complained at the clampdown in Italy on one person or family owning two clubs, as Lazio chief Claudio Lotito was forced to sell Salernitana following their promotion to Serie A.
Aurelio De Laurentiis faces a similar situation next summer if Bari gain promotion from Serie B, as he already runs Napoli.
“There are now funds that have several clubs all over the world, including in Italy. They own up to six or seven clubs in different countries. It’s not a bad thing, it depends on what the clubs are looking for, but if you’re De Laurentiis and have ambitions of top flight football, you’re then forced to sell after promotion.
“This is why I insist there should be more B-Teams, over six years ago we tried to convince them to change the rules on that.”