Cape Town - Serie A clubs have generated a net collective profit for the first time in 17 years but remain in a precarious position and are too reliant on television rights money, according to a report Monday.
Mired in debt and mediocrity following the golden era of the 1990s and early 2000s, Serie A's clubs last year registered collective losses of 222m euros, only a slight improvement on the previous season's losses of 365m euros.
For the first time since the 1999-2000 season, Italy's top flight is back in the black, with 11 of the league's 20 clubs posting net profits. Nine remain in the red.
Top of the pile, according to the report, are southern giants Napoli, with 66.6m euros of net profit last season, followed by Juventus (42.6m) and Lazio (11.4m).
Yet any enthusiasm on the part of Serie A aficionados is tempered by the fact that other league giants are struggling financially, the league as a whole has a growing debt and a growing reliance on cash generated by television rights.
Seven-time European champions AC Milan, taken over by a Chinese consortium last year, posted losses of 74.9m euros. Roma (41.7m) and Inter (24.6m) were also in the red.
Gazzetta's report also underlined Serie A's growing debt. For the first time, Serie A's collective debt surpassed two billion euros (2.1bn), compared to 1.87bn last year.
Television rights also represent 56% of the league's total revenues, ahead of brand merchandising (22%) and match-day ticket sales (10%).