Just the other day in the context of whether or not Napoli should go for broke in the transfer market, we talked briefly about how well the club is doing in relation to UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations. Aurelio De Laurentiis has insisted on keeping Napoli strongly in line with UEFA's financial guidelines, both to protect the financial health of the club and of course to make sure they don't get slapped down with sanctions like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain were, or eventual competitive bans from the Champions League and Europa League.
Thanks to Napoli's steadied and measured growth, and some smart business in acquiring more revenues in the form of sponsorships and retail ventures, the club is in an excellent position as far as FFP is concerned, and are one of the most compliant clubs in Europe. In fact, according to Italian sports finance site Calcio & Finanza, they're the club in the best financial shape in Italy right now.
Ed. Note: while I couldn't find this particular graphic on their site, the data and style is consistent with that used by C&F
Based on data that C&F were able to gather, Napoli are one of only two Italian sides slated to be in Europe next season to have posted profits in both the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons, and they posted the biggest profits by far of any Italian side in or around the European places. Given that the club financed last summer's spending spree with the sale of Edinson Cavani and others, and that they made better than €40 million from playing in the Champions League and Europa League last season, they should be in even better shape for the final numbers from last season.
So what does this mean? Well, a couple of things. First and foremost, Napoli are in a fantastic position right now, not just in pure financial shape, but in terms of where they can go from here. They can afford to take just their profits over the past few years, buy a pretty damn good player, and still have money left over before dipping in to the red. Given some of the noise out of interviews with ADL and Riccardo Bigon over the last couple of weeks, it sounds as though they're planning to do exactly that.
Second, if you look at Napoli's financials compared to their rivals', there's a LOT of reason for optimism. Juventus is perilously close to overrunning the FFP "do not cross" line on losses, and Roma's so far past it they really don't have a hope of coming back, especially with how much money they're spending this summer. Even Champions League revenues will only help either side so much. Suddenly, Juve's stance on being willing to sell talents like Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba make a lot more sense.
If Napoli's two biggest rivals right now are in such rough shape, it's only a matter of time before they have to bite the bullet and do some heavy restructuring of their sides. When that happens, the partenopei's financial health will allow them to not just stay the course, but improve themselves enough to leapfrog their competition and set themselves up to be a true power in Italy, and potentially in Europe eventually as well.
This is a fantastic time to be a Napoli fan, and this is just all the more evidence of it. We have a club that's run by very smart people, coached by very smart people, and that has players who will give anything for the Napoli shirt. That's a hell of a position to be in, and we could be seeing glory a lot sooner than later.