Ten years ago, Napoli were bankrupt and on the edge of oblivion. Then Aurelio De Laurentiis scooped the team up and rebuilt it from scratch, and a decade later, Napoli are a bastion of financial stability in football. That stability already earned them a place in Deloitte's top 20 ranking for club revenues, and now they've found a spot in Forbes' "Business of Soccer" top 20 list for total club value.
According to the sports finance gurus at Forbes, Napoli are worth some €311 million, good for 17th on the list. The ranking information indicates that Napoli are worth an impressive 19% -- or a little over €59 million -- more than they were a year ago, and most importantly -- they have no outstanding debt.
That last note is perhaps the most significant, considering the deep financial hole the club was in for so long. Even in more recent times, Napoli were in a spot of bother with the city over unpaid rent and taxes, though those problems were resolved in recent months. Having no club debt is a big deal, especially considering the massive debt levels of some other clubs in this list, like Arsenal with 30% of their value tied up in debts, Inter at 56%, Milan at 44%, and Atletico Madrid at 53%.
Napoli are one of four Italian clubs on the list, with Juventus ninth (€736 million), AC Milan 10th (€681 million), and Inter at 16th (€386 million). With the two Milan clubs floundering under debt and mismanagement, those values are more a legacy of the good days than anything being done lately, and Napoli are unquestionably a rising star of Serie A with how well the club has been run.
Aurelio De Laurentiis has done fantastic work with Napoli to get them where they are today. This club has a lot of potential thanks to the strong -- and stable -- financial position they're in, and we could be witnessing the birth of a new power in Italy and Europe. Fingers crossed things keep going Napoli's way in the future.