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Money Money Money Mooooooney

tmpphpskbw3i.jpgAssessing The Serie A Bacon

Thanks to reader Lucian, I had a great idea. Which I think is a quote or something, right? "All great ideas are stolen from other people." Yeah, that's it. Anyway, Lucian gave us the cost-per-point analysis of the five teams currently adorning the top of the table. I thought I'd take it a step further. Which is the most cost-effective team in Serie A? (Using the first third of the season as the sample.) Meaning: Who spends the least amount of money per point? I'll give you a hint: it's not Milan. Personally, my guess before I even gandered at the salary numbers was Udinese, which can be backed up if necessary. So, without further ado, let's do this:

Inter 25pts €110m - €4.5m per point
Roma 22pts €56m - €2.6m per
Juve 22pts €96m - €4.5m per
Fiore 23pts €30m - €1.5m per
Milan 15pts €120m - €8.5m per
Palermo 18pts €24.6m - €1.36m per
Samp 15pts €24m - €1.6m per
Torino 13pts €23m - €1.76m per
Genoa 14pts €21m - €1.5m per
Napoli 15pts €19.8m - €1.32m per
Catania 15pts €18.4m - €1.23m per
Lazio 10pts €18m - €1.8m per
Livorno 9pts €14.7m - €1.63m per
Udinese 22pts €14.4m - €0.65m per
Parma 12pts €14m - €1.17m per
Reggina 9pts €12.6m - €1.4m per
Empoli 9pts €12m - €1.33m per
Siena 10pts €11.9m €1.19m per
Atalanta 19pts €11.5m - €0.6m per
Cagliari 9pts €11m - €1.2m per

(The table & the salaries, for those interested.)

So, there you have it. Udinese was a close second, by €50,000 euros per game, to Atalanta, the most financially efficient team in Serie A - and nobody was even close to those two, also the only ones under 7 figures per game. (It helps when one of your best players, Fab Quags, is making €550,000 per year.) Obviously I'm not naive enough to believe this is much of a true barometer of each team, as the differential between the, uh, "smaller squads" is largely negligible in most cases. But it's where the big differences are, such as with Milan, Inter, Juve and everyone else (and to an extent Roma). Here's how the cost-effective standings shake out:

1. Atalanta €0.6m
2. Udinese €0.65m
3. Parma €1.17m
4. Siena €1.19
5. Cagliari €1.20
6. Catania €1.23m
7. Napoli €1.32m
8. Empoli €1.33m
9. Palermo €1.36m
10. Reggina €1.4m
11t. Genoa €1.5m
11t. Fiorentina €1.5
13. Sampdoria €1.6m
14. Livorno €1.63m
15. Torino €1.76m
16. Lazio €1.8m
17. Roma €2.7m
18t. Juve €4.4m
18t. Inter €4.4m
20. Milan €8m

The Winners:
Atalanta - Not only do they have a legit chance at making Europe, they're doing it for pennies on the euro. Beats the fuck out of me.
Udinese - Ditto, and I'm beginning to believe they're one recockulous Fab Quags surge from making a serious run at that 4th Champions League spot (yes, you heard that Fiorentina - don't slip up.)
Palermo - Looking at that team, it's hard to believe that much talent can cost so little. Kudos to Zampa.
Fiorentina - 2nd place currently and 11th in efficiency. 'Nuff said.

The Losers:
Milan - Silvio might as well go to the local pole dancing club and make it rain, because that has roughly the same worth as blowing it on the Golden Girls, aka AC Milan.
Inter - Just because. Assholes.
Torino - My super secret second love just cannot put it together, and they're blowing (relatively) big money to boot. I blame Recoba. (Fucking sieve.)
Livorno - Dear Christ, Aldo. Get it together.
Lazio - As cost-effective as dry humping a prostitute. Typical.

• I totally expect Livorno's rating to change. They just appear to be one of those teams that has looks destined for relegation, then all of a sudden has one of those "what the fuck just happened?" streaks in them and winds up mid-table and near safety by February to the surpriise of absolutely everyone (but me...and Marco).

• You can buy a Champions League spot. Seriously. Well, unless you're Silvio Berlusconi, who should be investing in Geritol rather than hitting the market.

• For all the shit I give Pietro Leonardi - all of it deserving, of course - he's done a damn fine job tightening up the finances in Udine while putting out a team which is more than competitive. Almost (almost) a team one could find themselves rooting for. (Nah.)

• The fact that Atalanta is at the top isn't even the most surprising part. That is the fact that they have the second lowest payroll in all of Serie A, only half a mil above Cagliari, at €11.5m. And only one player, the incredibly worth it Simone Inzaghi, is making over €400,000 this year. (Simone, like his brother, is a veritable cancer on the team's payroll at a cool €1m.)

As far as Roma goes, it's not wonderful, but they are certainly on par with any team in Serie A, meaning Inter & Juve so far, and doing it at over a third of the price. They're no Atalanta or Udinese, but that's still pretty damn good when you consider some of the utterly absurd and floundering payrolls floating around Europe. (Tottenham comes to mind.) I'd give Rosella a B+.

Anywho, nothing to take too seriously...unless you're a Milan fan.