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Trotta and Goldaniga during Crotone-Palermo (Photo: Insidefoto.com)

With just two games left in the Serie A season, three teams are still fighting to avoid the last relegation place; Crotone, Empoli and Genoa are all at risk of joining already-relegated Palermo and Pescara in Serie B next season.

Until a few weeks ago it seemed almost certain that Crotone would return to Serie B without much of a fight, but with 17 points from their last seven games they are joint top of Serie A’s form table and are now one point from safety.

The fact that they have only been in Serie A for a single season though will have a major effect on the revenue they receive if they are relegated, however, as the longer clubs have been in Italy’s top flight, the more they receive in parachute payments:

  • €25 million for clubs who have been in Serie A for the last three seasons (or three of the last four)
  • €15 million for clubs who have been in Serie A for the last two seasons (or two of the last three)
  • €10 million for clubs who have been in Serie A for one season

There are still numerous permutations at the bottom of the table as any of Genoa, Empoli and Crotone could go down, but it’s the Pitagorici who have the most difficult 180 minutes left with games against Juventus (playing to win a historic sixth consecutive scudetto in front of their own fans) and Lazio.

  • Genoa: 33 points – games remaining: Torino (h), Roma (a)
  • Empoli: 32 points – games remaining: Atalanta (h), Palermo (a)
  • Crotone: 31 points – games remaining: Juventus (a), Lazio (h)

It’s feasible that two or even all three clubs will be level on points at the end of the season; if so, relegation will be decided on their head-to-head record. If all three are level, Empoli would be relegated. If Empoli and Genoa are level, Empoli would be relegated. If Crotone and Genoa are level, Crotone would be relegated. If Crotone and Empoli are level, Empoli would be relegated.

If the Tuscan side do go down at the end of the season, this would actually have a knock-on effect. Serie A has a parachute payment pot of €60 million, and any funds that are left over are held back for the team that has remained in Serie A for three years or longer (if they are not immediately promoted the next season).

Consequently, if Crotone are relegated then there would be funds left over, but if Empoli or Genoa join Palermo and Pescara then the full quota of €60 million would be allocated. If:

  • Pescara, Palermo and Crotone are relegated, Pescara would receive €10 million, Palermo would receive €25 million and Crotone would receive €10 million – a total of €45 million. Palermo would receive the remaining €15 million in two years’ time if they miss out on promotion next season.
  • Pescara, Palermo and Genoa are relegated, Pescara would receive €10 million, Palermo would receive €25 million and Genoa would receive €25 million – a total of €60 million.
  • Pescara, Palermo and Empoli are relegated, Pescara would receive €10 million, Palermo would receive €25 million and Empoli would receive €25 million – a total of €60 million.

While parachute payments have been crucial to relegated clubs’ finances (notably Hellas Verona, whose €25 million parachute payment gave them the resources to register the club for the Serie B season), some clubs will still end up losing money as the amount of money they receive through parachute payments won’t make up for the amount lost through TV revenue.

Palermo and Empoli, for example, have brought in €35.1 million and €29 million respectively from TV revenue this season, but they would only receive €25 million each through parachute payments. Former Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini warned of the club’s difficult financial situation while he was still in control, and recently added: “parachute payments cannot be compared to potential revenue in Serie A. It’s crazy that we can lose €35 million from TV revenue and only bring in €25 million from parachute payments.”

Genoa’s president, Enrico Preziosi, echoed Zamparini’s sentiments and revealed he would need to invest at least €60 million to keep the Rossoblu afloat. “I have to laugh when people tell me that it would be good for us to go down so that we could receive the parachute payments. If Genoa were to go down to Serie B then it would be hugely damaging to us. I would need to invest €60-70 million at a bare minimum.”