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Saturday July 14 2018
Rebuilding Milan's image

After Yonghong Li failed to repay his loan, Elliott have seized control and are working towards rebuilding Milan’s image, writes Matthew Santangelo.

Throughout the course of this ownership dilemma, Milan’s brand has taken quite a hit. The value of the Rossoneri image still remains tremendously high around the world, but the struggles during the past five to six years on the pitch, along with uncertainty at the top, calls for financial stability and total transparency under Elliott Management.

It’s natural to fear what comes next, as hedge funds are generally speaking not adept at running massive football clubs. The good news is that they want their money back, which means building Milan back up until it can be sold at a large profit.

Elliott’s aim is to assemble a strong team of directors, including a CEO, general manager and sporting director. According to reports throughout this week, club legend Paolo Maldini, who has consistently rejected roles within management due to concerns over the project, reportedly had dialogue with the current group to hold a position similar to Javier Zanetti’s at Inter. However, it seems the 50-year old legend will turn it down as he covets a more hands-on, involved role that would grant him freedom to operate.

Now, the primary target for Paul Singer’s management firm is believed to be Leonardo, who would step in to the same sporting director role he previously held at Paris Saint-Germain, putting Massimiliano Mirabelli on the chopping block after taking on serious criticism for his transfer policy since arriving last summer.

It is safe to say that Milan supporters have been left in the dark with regards to the future of their club and who will be making the major decisions necessary to alter the current course the seven-time Champions League winners are on.

At this point, the most important measure for Elliott to take is ensuring Milan are financially healthy and cared for to the point where the asset itself is protected from further turbulence. After spending north of €200m just 12 months ago, expecting Elliott to splash out this time around is irrational, meaning the transfer strategy will be minimally funded with a small operating budget and proceeds from outgoing transfers.

They have already signed free agents Pepe Reina, Ivan Strinic and Alen Halilovic, bringing back memories of when Adriano Galliani put together an entire line-up from loans, youth products and freebies.

Having said all this, supporters would likely sacrifice a summer of serious investment, and perhaps even a top asset in the squad, if it means a clear path is laid out towards a restored and secured Milan built to compete consistently.

With Yonghong Li no longer in charge after defaulting on his loan, Elliott now looks to pick up the pieces, inject the necessary funds to stabilize the club’s finances and reshuffle the front office staff in order to bring legitimacy top to bottom. Whether they remain in control or attempt to repackage the Italian giants in a way that would rebuild their value to new investors remains up in the air.

Have your say...
Milan will once again falter in the next season. With how thing are happening, no class players will join them.

A lot of Milan fans here are sadly delusional to their team reality.

Best case scenario, they might recover 3 years from now. In the meantime, let see how their 'vulture' capital owner handle them. Surely the formula is minimum spending maximum returns, huh? Good luck!
on the 18th July, 2018 at 5:48am
When and where is the funeral being held for AC Milan?
on the 16th July, 2018 at 9:35pm
Ill go for Depay and some backup for Kessie. Keep Loca and sell all he trash like Kalinic, Bacca, Bertolacci, Antoneli, Abate, Mauri, older Donnarumma etc. Will keep Silva as well as a backup for Cutrone to give him more playtime and if not, sell him and buy Immobile. That team will be strong enough with an deph on bench to fight for top 4 easy.
on the 16th July, 2018 at 8:47am
The difference between Cutrone being the next Inzaghi or even the next Massaro is regular football. We should be aiming to play Cutrone in about 40 matches next season. If he hits 1:2 he could get to 20 goals. By signing another striker we just limit his playing time. The most depressing news this summer was not the loss of Li Yonghong, but the possible loss of Locatelli. It was not Li Yonghong who scored a volley against Sassuolo and celebrated with tears in his eyes.
on the 16th July, 2018 at 12:08am
And it just so happens that stability breeds success. Ok Maldini and Baresi were phenomenal players but the likes of Tassotti and Ambrosini were pretty average. A successful club is not built on super stars. It's built on a solid core of players who have played together for a number of years. You cannot buy cohesion. That's why in addition to the sentimental reasons for sticking with certain players there are footballing reasons. Players become above average to great when they play regularly.
on the 16th July, 2018 at 12:01am
At the end of the day a football club is first and foremost about the players. Sure it's connected to a place and community, to particular colours and indicia, to a particular history and particular successes and even failures, but it's the players we watch week in/week out. We need to feel a connection to the players. And the only way we'll get that connection is by watching these players play for a number of years. It needs to be an enduring love not a one night stand.
on the 15th July, 2018 at 11:57pm
Most fans have a soft spot for youth team players but Milan fans seem particularly supportive. Donnarumma dramas aside, many people would prefer if Milan gave chances to the likes of Calabria, Locatelli and Cutrone than sign some multimillion Euro player. Ok the choice is between Zaza and Cutrone, but still there is an affection for youth team players. I think the affection comes from our history of Baresi and Maldini. We want to return to that familiarity we had for so long.
on the 15th July, 2018 at 11:53pm
made it easy to support my father's team. But there was also something deeper. From before I could remember until 2009 Paolo Maldini played for AC Milan. He was a constant. But he wasn't the only one. Baresi, Costacurta, Tassotti, Ambrosini, Gattuso were mostly "lifers"; one-ish club men. For about 30 years there was continuity in the starting line up. Watching Milan had an air of familiarity about it. The sort of familiarity you get with any successful brand, from a Ferrari to San Pellegrino.
on the 15th July, 2018 at 11:46pm
A business can have the best brand in the world but if there's no substances behind it then the business will fail. Why do people support football clubs? I'm sure there's many reasons so I can only really speak for myself. I support AC Milan because my father did and I have a connection to Milan. That was the hook. But as a child I was also treated to attracted to the great players who played for my team; Baresi, Maldini, the 3 Dutchmen, Weah, Baggio, Shevchenko, Kaka...That was the cream. That
on the 15th July, 2018 at 11:40pm
@ Masoud I agree. As Dami pointed out we finished 8 points off the top 4. We dropped 9 points to the two bottom sides.
on the 15th July, 2018 at 11:11pm
Haha lovely b
on the 15th July, 2018 at 2:08pm
It seems there is no end of suffering for the fans of this club. Ownership is a complete mess,kicked out of Europa league, manager linked to money laundering, captain as well as other star players could be leaving and they could have had 1 player in the world cup final but alas he managed to get himself sent home. It must really suck to see CR7 at Juventus and Inter doing very good biz in the market. You gotta wonder What next?
on the 15th July, 2018 at 10:00am
@ Al Dino

You guys too harsh on him. He once loved Milan and their fans. He throwed away Millions and Millions for this team and then you Milan fans, repay his love by insulting him with large banner: Game Over, We need more coins?????

Are you kidding me?????

This is a sweet revenge for ungratitude fans. ENJOY!
on the 15th July, 2018 at 2:11am
Personally i think Berlusconi found a way to make all his money back that he invested in Milan by getting an unknown guy without much of a future to take out a loan which everyone knew he had no interest or ability ever of repaying. Berlusconi on top of everything overinflated Milan's value in order to get as much money as possible out of the sale without anyone ever questioning weather or not Berlusconi's valuation was even legit.
on the 14th July, 2018 at 10:34pm
For someone who for years claimed to love Milan and have Milan's best interests at heart Berlusconi should have worked harder on finding a legitimate buyer instead of selling the club to Li. This way he not only almost destroyed Milan's image but proved that his love for money was much greater than his love for Milan.
on the 14th July, 2018 at 10:26pm
It looks like Milan will really struggle to secure Europa league again this season, as they'll be chasing Juventus, Roma,Napoli, Inter, Lazio, Atalanta, Sampdoria and Torino at minimum. Even Europa League won't satisfy it's main sponsors, and their brand will take yet another hit this season. It could be very rough times ahead for a once storied club, with no real financial up tick in the future forecast.
on the 14th July, 2018 at 7:57pm
There is no doubt the league thrives when the countries biggest clubs in their biggest cities flourish. The Romans are doing their part, Juventus are Juventus, Inter seems to be within FFP and are slowly building, but Milan are a complete disaster heading into the new season. I still think their should be an investigation into the original sale from Berlusconi to that money launderer Li. But since Elliot took over, they can't reverse the previous damage done. Looking at other teams in Serie A
on the 14th July, 2018 at 7:55pm
Focusing on the squad, I don't think Milan needs Badelj. We have Biglia, Locatelli (hopefully) and either Hakan or Halilovic who could fill that role.
With Reina & Strinic for free, Milan needs a pacey LW and a box-to-box midfielders who can compete with Kessie.
I expect Kalinin to be sold, Bacca to move on, and Silva is still uncertain. Cutrone is the only guarantee at striker..
. it's a tough situation to resolve in the current market.
on the 14th July, 2018 at 6:10pm
Also, in regards to Elliot the talks of who they could be bringing in are positive moves and as a business they will want to make money off our sale, to do that we need to be a stable club with assets so they won't gut the squad and could spend 4 or so years creating stability (most importantly financial stability) before selling us to someone. Whoever they sell too will actually have money. Hopefully, they follow Juve's model.
on the 14th July, 2018 at 5:27pm
We aren't in as bad a spot as everyone will tell you. I'd only have Juve, Inter and Napoli nailed on for T4 after all the changes Roma have made this summer. We failed to get T4 last season due to points dropped against Benevento, Sassuolo, Udinese and Verona. Do we need to spend another 200M to beat these bottom half sides? No. We need to keep the side we have and at most add a LW which is the position we sorely lacked in last year. Enough talk of a striker aswell, Cutrone is good.
on the 14th July, 2018 at 5:25pm
The AC Milan situation reminds me a lot of what happened to Glasgow Rangers. Owner sells to someone who makes promises they can't fulfil, then another party takes over with a view to selling at a profit. It doesn't end well..... I wouldn't be surprised to see Berlusconi buying them back in a cut price deal a few yers down the line
on the 14th July, 2018 at 4:21pm
They are gonna do the same thing Berlusconi did, mend it a bit, put a nice wrap to a broken club and then sell it for a big profit.
on the 14th July, 2018 at 7:40am
Such a shame, a club like Milan has to suffer this. Didn't whoever-in-charge do some auditing on Li's finance & profile in the first place?
Or was it some under-the-table money to smooth things up? Now, let this be a lesson for every club in Serie A (even Serie B, C & D) in the future.
And to Milan fans, stop bragging about the past glory, time to face your truth now.

PS: as a Juventini, i have to admit Milan's trouble makes me happy & sad at the same time.
on the 14th July, 2018 at 6:59am
This is basically the nightmare of every Milanista... Our historic club has been repossessed by a vulture firm. Milanisti should not forget Berlusconi's role in this horror-show. At this point anything could happen to AC Milan.
Hoping for nothing but stability in the short-term.
on the 14th July, 2018 at 3:03am
Trolls and haters, here's your chance!
on the 14th July, 2018 at 2:36am
This club has basically been a mess for well over a decade now.

The great team that won the CL in '07 was the last hurrah of a dying system, with Silvio having stopped spending a few years before that.

A few false dawns since, winning an average league in '11, and the spending last summer, but little of real substance.

What happened to the great club that was run so well when Silvio had his head screwed on?
on the 14th July, 2018 at 1:18am
i realy cant foreseen what ahead for milan. Are the new owners ready to push the milan or just be happy to catch milan on the balance. Look, its a highly invested squad; either you keep the proceedings with yet another two or three high buys to keep project ambitious as it should be. Or you cant start with sellin bonucci; CHOICE IS YOURS.
on the 14th July, 2018 at 12:40am
Serie A needs a strong Milan team back. Back in the days Milan, Inter and Juve were comparable if not better than Real, Barca and Atletico. I’m a Juve fan and I say we need Milan back to being Milan.. for the sake of Serie A.
on the 14th July, 2018 at 12:07am
A lot of Milan fans seem to think that we need to spend another 100 mill to break into the top four. Their general feeling is that because we wont sign many players, top 4 is out of reach and we are doomed ect. Im dissapointed by the negativity to be honest.

I actually think that under gattuso, our first team is not far from top 4 standard. Add a CM back up (badelj) and get a winger in (depay, bernard ect) and we have a good chance of finishing top 4 if we dont sell any of our top players
on the 13th July, 2018 at 11:49pm

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