February 1st saw the closure of the transfer window across much of Europe. Since then there has been plenty of discussion about the players that have come and gone. Here at Viola Nation we decided to look into Fiorentina transfers over the last three seasons from a financial perspective.
The past three years are a good illustration of how a club like Fiorentina can stay financially competitive in an increasingly "big money" sport. It really follows a basic principle that applies to all businesses. Source a product at low cost, develop the product and sell for a significant return, using the profits to reinvest in the business. Fiorentina are seemingly becoming extremely adept at this. If you take the three biggest outgoing transfers from the last three seasons - Stevan Jovetic, Matija Nastastic and Juan Cuadrado - you can see that the overall profit from these moves is approximately €50 million plus the now-invaluable Stefan Savic.
The money earned over these past 3 years has been reinvested well, strengthening the squad as a whole. During the 2012-13 season for example, the €18 million paid for Nastastic by Manchester City is equal to what was paid for Borja Valero, Nenad Tomovic, Mati Fernandez and Gonzalo Rodriguez. At the midway point of this season, la Viola boast about an €11 million profit from the last three years' paid transfers.
Of course, spending the money earned in the transfer market is not risk free. At €18 million, Mario Gomez, whilst much improved of late, has not yet fully lived up to his price tag. There is also yet to be a significant return on the €10 million spent on Josip Ilicic. It may be surprising to know that the Cuadrado deal yielded the least profit. It is easy to forget that Fiorentina paid Udinese €21 million (in two payments) for full ownership. Despite this however, you could argue that a profit of €14 million is superb for a player that, over the course of two and a half years, has provided 24 goals and 18 assists.
Looking to the future, we now have Mohammed Salah, who we can keep on loan from Chelsea until the end of the 2015-16 season if desired. The hope is that he will develop into a suitable replacement for the vespa, and if he does, Fiorentina have reportedly already agreed a fee with Chelsea for around €15 million. If this scenario does manifest, the club will have a replacement for Cuadrado AND money in the bank and if it doesn't, he can go back to Chelsea with nothing lost and the money still to be spent on a different player.
Fiorentina fans only have to think of 2002 to be reminded quite painfully of what financial mismanagement can do to a club. A sustainable transfer policy is essential for the future and for remaining grounded and true to the club's ethos. It seems like Fiorentina are working hard to achieve this.