What with the current fire-sale that Fiorentina seems to be holding, it’s not surprising that the fans are accusing owner Diego Della Valle of being a cheapskate. After all, owners never spend enough and fans always demand they spend too much; it’s one of the greatest traditions in football. This time around, the fans are accusing the owner of spending less and less every year.
Well, thanks to the excellent work of the folks over at Calcio e Finanza, we can see how much truth there is to that charge. They’ve compiled a chart of the yearly expenditures the Della Valles have made on Fiorentina every year since 2003. To translate the column headings, the first is obviously, the year; the second is the net financial gain or loss that Fiorentina managed in a year; and the final column is how much money Diego sank into the club.
First, a couple notes: the total for 2016 is 0, in large part, because loan fees for players such as Riccardo Saponara and Marco Sportiello are due next season. 2010 and 2011 are both at 0 as well due to a combination of loans and big sales (thanks, Felipe Melo and Juventus).
While the Della Valles have spent substantially in the past 3 years, it seems clear that they never gave Paulo Sousa the players necessary to build a winning squad (whether or not Sousa could have coached it is another debate entirely). The expenditures have actually remained pretty constant, which is encouraging after such a low-spending two years; history shows that the Della Valles should dip into the vault again soon.
However, they’re probably a bit anxious about the net profit of the club, which has been in the red for the past couple of years. Owning a football team is obviously a vanity project and unlikely to turn the owner a substantial annual gain, but losing such a substantial chunk of change in 2015 probably has them a bit leery, especially as they work with the city to get a new stadium.