The Shrinking Wage Bill



Amidst all of the angst and concern that we as Milan fans suffer like the worst kind of PTSD, today’s La Gazzetta dello Sport shed some light on something really amazing that is happening at Milan: our wage bill is shrinking. Quickly. Meanwhile, it seems like our squad has improved a lot in quality, even if it is still very young in comparison.  Even if we don’t find the immediate success on the pitch that we seek, this news is some of the best news we’ve had in a long time and points to a lot of hope for our future.

Captaining a young, sustainable Milan squad

Most significant is that our overall wage bill shrank by a whopping €25m since last season. Last year, we had the second highest wage bill in Serie A, at a bloated €140m. €140m, and we finished fifth place. That’s just ludicrous. Yet it seems to point a change in direction from Galliani’s exorbitant wage bills, wages unnaturally high due to his “free” transfers, which meant longer contracts and higher wages.

Instead, our new management have dropped a lot of dead weight, dramatically lowering the wages. If you look at the chart below, one of the first things you should notice is that all but one of the signings in 2019 are below €2m in wages. Yes, they have long contracts, with five years being the norm now. However, they are also young. Maybe math isn’t your thing, but when you multiply €1.5m by 5 years for Bennacer, that is €7.5m. The same amount we paid for a much older and less talented Montolivo for just two of the seven years he plagued our wage bill and dressing room.

Players, wages in millions, and contract end date from La Gazzetta dello Sport
(graphic via @Rossoneriblog)

It’s not just the money, although that is going to be significant as we try to remain free of FFP jail. It’s the youth and the talent. Milan have the youngest average squad in Serie A, the only squad with an average age of under 25. The talent of the new signings is already obvious, and while there will be growing pains as they gain experience, the future is very bright on the pitch and on the books.

It is also significant to look at the direction of other teams in Serie A. Looking at the highest paid players by position in Serie A, Milan have one player: Gigio Donnarumma. His ridiculous contract was notoriously negotiated shambolically by the incompetent Mirabelli. But as ridiculous as it is to have a goalkeeper that makes €6m, look at the other end of the spectrum. Juventus have Cristiano Ronaldo, who is making €31m. That’s €23m more than any other of the top earning players in this chart, or 3.9 times more. And that second highest paid player is theirs, too. As well as seven of the 11 players in this group.

Serie A's highes wage earners this season
(graphic via @Rossoneriblog)

In fact, Juve’s overall wages are €294m, more than double any other team. And what have these wages gotten them? Ronaldo wasn’t even capocannioniere last season, not for his €31m in wages. No, that honor went to Fabio Quagliarella, who is two years older than him and only makes €2.1 m. That’s right, Ronaldo makes 14.8 times as much as the old guy who scored more goals than him. And Juventus didn’t even make it to the Champions League final, either. Kind of makes you question the direction they are going in, huh?

If you have any other concerns about what is happening on the pitch or with our coach or whatever, these numbers should at least give you hope. It might take some time, as everyone at the top keeps reminding us, but Milan are poised for a very bright future with young, hard-working players who are willing to play for very low wages in comparison. We may not reap those rewards this season, but change is happening. Not just change, a revolution. As the wage bill shrinks and our quality has improved so much, Milan are ready for a very optimistic future.


This post inspired by the music of the X Ambassador's "BOOM"


Our next match is
Serie A Week 3
Hellas Verona vs. Milan
Sunday, September 15 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)

The Shrinking Wage Bill The Shrinking Wage Bill Reviewed by Elaine on 11:59 PM Rating: 5
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