Inter Vs. AC Milan: A Preview Of Saturday’s Derby Della Madonnina
Updated: Nov 6, 2020
~ Original article here!
Two of the most successful and historic clubs in Italian soccer, Inter and AC Milan, have recently entered new financial eras at the hands of foreign owners. These have been playing a key role in affecting the ongoing economic trends and Serie A ambitions of the Milan-based clubs.
Inter and Milan will battle each other this Saturday in the so-called Derby della Madonnina, set to kick off at 12 p.m. ET. It will be the 173rd Milan Derby in Serie A and the first since the pandemic began.
The Two Clubs’ Current Financial Trends
After the legendary Massimo Moratti presidency, during which Inter were able to achieve the triplete, a majority stake of the club was assumed in 2013 by Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir. Three years later, Suning Holdings Group, a private holding company owned by Chinese magnate Zhang Jindong, acquired 68.55% of the club’s stakes. Jindong’s son, Zhang Kangyang, a graduate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, was appointed chairman of Inter in October 2018, becoming the youngest president in the club’s history at 26 years old.
At Milan, the glorious Silvio Berlusconi era came to an end in 2017, giving way to the short, and controversial, presidency of Chinese businessman Li Yonghong. When Li defaulted on a loan, The Guardian explains, Elliott Management Corporation stepped in, taking over 99.93% of the club’s shares. The U.S.-based investment management firm, founded by American billionaire Paul Singer, has been in charge of Milan since July 2018, with Paolo Scaroni in the role of chairman.
In the Deloitte Football Money League 2020, a report detailing the revenues of football clubs in the 2018/19 season, Inter ranks 14th with a €364.6 million annual revenue. That year, the club experienced an €83.8 million increase in revenue from 2017/18, which accounted for an outstanding 30% growth: It was the highest in Inter’s history, the report points out.
The same Deloitte analysis also reveals that Milan, who ranked 18th in 2017/18 with a €207.7 million annual revenue, have been pushed out of the list of the 20 football clubs with the highest revenue in the 2018/19 season.
The two clubs’ market value is another indicator of opposing financial trends recently experienced by Milan and Inter. Data from Transfermarkt tell us that Milan’s market value depreciated in the last year by €101.2 million, going from €511.1 million to €409.9.
According to a recent Calcio e Finanza report, Milan have also decreased their wage bill in the past year: It now adds up to €90 million, which represents a €25 million reduction from the previous season.
Inter’s market value, in turn, has grown by an impressive €149.2 million from October 2019 and currently sits at €685.1 million. It is only €5 million shy of Serie A’s most valuable club, Juventus. The same Calcio e Finanza analysis reveals that Inter are devoting €149 million to their players’ wages, a €10 million increase from the previous year. Only Juventus registered a higher wage bill in Serie A.
The Value Of The Derby Della Madonnina
The match between Inter and Milan is referred to as Derby della Madonnina. The name stems from the gilded copper statue of the Virgin Mary overseeing the city of Milan from atop the Milan Cathedral. The Madonnina, literally “little Madonna,” measures 4.16 meters (13.6 feet) but appears small to the viewer that looks at her from 108.5 meters (366 feet) down.
Inter and Milan share the same stadium for home matches. Originally called “San Siro” after the Milan district in which the building is located, the stadium was later rebranded “Giuseppe Meazza” as a tribute to the striker, Giuseppe Meazza, who featured in both Milan-based clubs. Because Meazza had a much more prominent football career in his 13 seasons with Inter than in his two-year stint at Milan, the Rossoneri prefer sticking to “San Siro” when talking about their stadium.
Inter will play Saturday’s derby at home, which, prior to Covid-19 shutting down match-day attendance, would have been of great advantage for the Nerazzurri players: In a derby, the home team can allocate a higher portion of the total available tickets to its own fans.
Given San Siro’s 80,000-seat capacity, Inter will especially suffer economic impacts from the lack of ticket revenue on derby day. Based on data from the previous Serie A seasons, Calcio e Finanza explains that the Milan derby alone accounts for more than 10% of each club’s annual ticket revenue.
Precisely, the report adds, the Derby della Madonnina earns Inter €3.7 million out of their annual total ticket revenue of €26.9 million. Similarly, on derby day, Milan generates €3.6 million out of their annual total of €30.1 million.
Inter Vs. Milan: Form And Lineups
Inter have built a very competitive roster in the last transfer window, suggesting that they intend to win their 19h scudetto this year. After two convincing victories in the first two Serie A fixtures, the Nerazzurri bumped into a very tenacious Lazio side that forced them to take home only one point from the match at Stadio Olimpico.
Since the restart in June, Milan have not lost a single Serie A match, recording a positive 15-game streak. They currently tie in first position with Atalanta in the 2020/21 Serie A table with a 3-0 record, seven goals scored, and none conceded.
According to the expected lineups by Gazzetta dello Sport, injuries and Covid-19 infections will play a big part in dictating the choices that the two managers, Antonio Conte and Stefano Pioli, will make for their sides’ starting 11 on Saturday.
Conte will line up his men in his trademarked 3-5-2. The absences of defenders Alessandro Bastoni and Milan Škriniar will make room for Danilo D’Ambrosio and Aleksandar Kolarov as the right-sided and left-sided center backs, respectively. The long list of unavailable midfielders, which features Stefano Sensi, Roberto Gagliardini, Radja Nainggolan, Matias Vecino, and Ashley Young, will likely make Conte opt for Nicolò Barella, Arturo Vidal, and Marcelo Brozović, with new signing Achraf Hakimi and Ivan Perišić on the wings. On front, the Inter manager should confirm the prolific goal-scoring duo made by Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez.
Zlatan Ibrahimović, a former Inter player from 2006 to 2009, just recovered from the coronavirus and will occupy the center-forward position in Pioli’s 4-2-3-1. Pacey Portuguese winger, Rafael Leao, is expected to replace injured Ante Rebić on the left, with Hakan Çalhanoğlu in the trequartista position and Alexis Saelemaekers on the right flank. After a calf injury that kept him out for almost three months, the Rossoneri captain Alessio Romagnoli will be back at the center of the defense in partnership with Simon Kjær.