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How Much Should a Scudetto Cost?

With all of the disclosure of wages this week, I though it would be interesting to look at the wages of clubs who have won the Scudetto in recent years. How many players on a Scudetto winning squad make €2m or more? Is it necessary to have a lot of highly paid players, or can the trophy be won by a squad with reasonable wages? Realistically, how much should a Scudetto Cost?

Is there a price for the Scudetto?

Going back to through the past three Scudetto winners, here are the number of players for each year who made €2m or more:

2011-12 Juventus:
Buffon €6m
Amauri €4m
Pirlo €3.5
Chiellini €3.5
Iaquinta €3m
Vidal €3m
Vucinic €3m
Marchisio €2.5
Bonucci €2m
Quagliarella €2m
Lichtsteiner €2m


2010-11 Milan:
Ibra €9m
Ronaldinho €7,5m*
Pirlo €6m
Flamini €4,5m
Nesta €4,5m
Robinho €4m
Seedorf €4m
Gattuso €3,5m
Van Bommel €3,5**
Zambrotta €3,5m
Ambrosini €3m
Cassano €2,8m**
Jankulovski €2,8
Pato €2,5m
Thiago Silva €2,5m
Abbiati €2m
Bonera €2m
Inzaghi €2m
Emanuelson €2m**

*transferred out in January
**transferred in in January


Inter won the treble, but there was a price

2009-10 Inter*:
Eto’o: €10,5m
Vieira: €5,5m
Lucio: €4,5m
Maicon €4,5
Julio Cesar €4m
Stankovic €4m
Sneijder €4m
Cordoba €3,5m
J. Zanetti €3,5m
Chivu €3,5m
Samuel €3,5m
Quaresma €3,5m
Mancini €3,5m
Suazo €3,5m
Thiago Motta €3m
Cambiasso €3m
Milito €3m
Muntari €2,5m
Materazzi €2,5m

*This is the squad that won the treble


Here are the total wage bills for each team for the year they won the Scudetto:

2012 Juventus: €100m

2011 Milan: €130m

2010 Inter: €150m (treble)


Juventus won the Scudetto at a bargain price

Milan won in 2011 with a wage bill of €130m. Last year, our wage bill was even higher, at €160m, yet we finished 2nd with over 300 total missed matches from that expensive squad due to injuries. We also finished second to an undefeated Juventus squad that cost €100m but had no Champions League commitments and only 44 matches missed due to injuries. This year, our wages are reportedly €100m, but our quality level and average age have both dropped. We face some very stiff competition from multiple clubs this year, including Roma with a total wage bill of €95m and Inter, whose wages also total €95. Also a possible contender is Napoli, whose wage bill is a mere €53.2m.

How influential will the price of wages be in determining the Scudetto this season? Sadly, I think the cost says more about the business side of the club than the quality of play. At least that is true for Milan. We may have dropped €40-€60m in wages over the summer, but our quality has dropped possibly even more than that. Certainly when you look at the teams with comparable costs, their quality is better. In fact, clubs like Napoli, who have wages roughly half of ours probably have comparable quality to ours.

Milan's Scudetto squad was large and expensive

We made a lot of progress this summer to cutting the wage bill and being ready for Financial Fair Play (FFP.) But we also still have a long way to go to being sustainable, and likely a ways to go to become successful again, too. But then again, winning is more than just cost or quality. Winning is desire, mental strength, and living up to expectations. With the biggest International trophy collection, Milan surely have very high expectations. With so many young players eager to prove themselves, they certainly have the desire. The mental strength must be forged, perhaps from something like the crisis of this summer, and tempered throughout the year, unyielding. Which means that Milan do have a chance at the Scudetto, even if their chances on paper seem less than the other clubs.

How much should a Scudetto cost? It isn’t necessarily measured in wages. It’s measured in blood, sweat, and tears. Provided those aren’t a result of over 300 injuries like last season, then Milan are still in the race.


This post inspired by the music of Ministry


Our next match is
Milan vs. Atalanta
Saturday, September 15th • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)