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Friday January 23 2015
Milan’s answer - sale not summit

After Silvio Berlusconi sold Milan’s soul, Sam Lewis believes it’s time to sell the club too.

Sadly familiar headlines floated around the peninsula after another disappointing week in Milan’s 2014-15 concluded following a 1-0 loss to Atalanta. The Rossoneri displayed their mental fragility with a defeat despite dominating most facets of the game. Once again, a ‘provincial’ side managed to beat the great Milan, who are looking more pedestrian with each passing result.

The headlines? Reports of ‘crisis meetings’, with CEO Adriano Galliani visiting the first team before the first - and certainly not last - ‘summit’ of 2015 at President Silvio Berlusconi’s Arcore household with Coach Filippo Inzaghi, reminiscent of the discussions that took place prior to Clarence Seedorf’s dismissal and Massimiliano Allegri’s before that.

These panicked sessions, the tactic-by-committee focus groups, are symbolic of both the growing inability of the club to affect real change with its failing football team other than in-match gripes had over risotto and wine, and the outdated perception of Milan from its ownership – that losses against Atalanta and Sassuolo are shocking enough to hastily toss around terms like ‘crisis’.

The crisis has already happened - this is just further fallout. That Milan are falling to better prepared teams, regardless of prestige, appears to be surprising no-one except the people who it should faze least – Galliani and Berlusconi.

The President’s rage was almost laughable, reportedly thundering: “It is unacceptable to lose to teams with wages five times less than ours.” Is it not more unacceptable that Milan’s wage bill is so high for players of such low quality? Or how about we examine how ‘unacceptable’ the disparity is between Silvio Berlusconi’s worth and Milan’s market expenditure? An alleged €4m January budget for a team whose big midfield addition is the fitness of on-loan Chelsea reserve Marco van Ginkel is the part that is tough to take. The budget being set by a man worth an estimated €9bn is even tougher.

Meanwhile, Berlusconi references the lack of Champions League football for the financial black-hole, hoping daughter Barbara’s continual efforts in moving Milan toward a new stadium and sustainable growth draws closer on the horizon, despite doing little to aid it.

That Silvio was reluctant to move away from San Siro despite its draining effect on club resources is another example of the stagnant nostalgia that prevents progress. The 2012 sales of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva among the departure of key veterans who were poorly replaced have taken the heart away from the club, now a devil without a soul. Perhaps the next big sale should of the club itself, if non-existent investment is a continuing factor.

Meanwhile, judgements are passed on the efforts of rookie Coach Inzaghi, who after a positive finish to 2014 is, rather unsurprisingly, looking like the beginner tactician he is. Rumours of secret meetings with Luciano Spalletti are undermining Press reports that were prevalent during the dog days of Seedorf, and Allegri before him.

The idea that a simple change of Coach is enough to propel Milan back to glory is a preposterous notion - Arrigo Sacchi himself would struggle to produce results when the Rossoneri are relying on the ghost of Michael Essien in midfield while Daniele Bonera  - now injured – is considered a telling loss to the team’s defensive organisation, if there was any to begin with.

With immediate improvement against Lazio ‘expected’ by management, a rousing chorus from Berlusconi to the squad before the match-up against the Biancocelesti should be expected. Sadly, the only boost Milan fans will receive from any announcement their President makes now will be a speech that begins with: “I have decided to sell Milan.”

Have your say...
it is so sad to be a milan fan these years, it is like watching a downfall of a hero, i think the options available is either to change the policy from the current management(which is very unlikely since they are so blinded and lost the passion) or to sell the club to people who still have passion for football and actually care about it and about it's fans, also getting back maldini and give him a managerial part in milan and to get leonardo back as a talent scouting manager, Forza Milan.
on the 27th January, 2015 at 6:39pm
As said below the whole of Italian Football needs to move forward with clubs owning stadiums, marketing & getting fans back to create a marketable atmosphere. Probably a reserve league as well.

I want the Berlo's to remain @ Milan, they have built 3 world class teams (Sacchi, Cap & Carletto). The Curva Sud are right with their letter, the wages paid to averge players are terrible. The club needs a plan......

Its also shameful that Maldini and Billy Costacurta are not involved with Milan.....
on the 27th January, 2015 at 11:43am
B&G need to back inzaghi and get back to mila basics. Starting with a solid defence and homegrown players. Stop rescuing relics from yesteryear, give some younger hungrier talent a chance. Last nights came was pretty poor but it has been coming and realistically there will be more days like yesterday.
on the 25th January, 2015 at 10:10pm
In the current commercial climate milan are never going to compete with the top teams in europe. Thinking you can get by with favours from your friends giving you their cheap casts offs does not sound like a winning formula. They need to realise that the fans don't want big name mercenaries, they want to see players giving their all for the team and progression. Fans are loyal they stick through the hard times so will accept a season or 2 of transition.
on the 25th January, 2015 at 10:05pm
The issue is that B&G still think in terms of supastar players/big names. Football has moved on & they haven't. What you've got now is a squad that is in transition but they seem to think that last seasons 8th position wasn't a true reflection of their quality. The ridiculous notion that they have a chance of CL football is a noose around Inzaghi's neck. Instead of building a solid base, Mila are still in polyfilla mode. Now we have no identity and disaster mode is always around the corner.
on the 25th January, 2015 at 9:54pm
@maldini heir
If Milan sell Mastour it will only highlight just what a mess Serie A is in. I don't expect Berlusconi to buy and spend millions but what i want is for Milan to hold on to quality and bring back a sense of team loyalty and spirit. Yet every single transfer window opens i sit panicking about who will be brought in for free and who will be sold for a sum of money that could be reinvested but it isn't. Seedorf and inzaghi are blamed and used to smokescreen the greed from above!
on the 25th January, 2015 at 11:59am
No experienced or lets be honest proper manager would take this job on, it was failing for years and it has in the last few years completely collapsed. No real manager would take on a team that has no vision, plan or real project. One of the richest men in italy has pocketed money from the selling of players at their peak and left us with a bunch of half wits on the pitch and another puppet on the bench who doesn't seem to have the back bone to actually speak out at this rubbish! Sell up ASAP!
on the 25th January, 2015 at 11:47am
To all Milan fans, as long as Milan don't qualify to Europe in the next few seasons, Berlusconi will eventually sell the club, its just a matter of time, because this Milan team isn't going to no European competition for a long time, my heart bleeds as i write this, Forza Milan, but i have just had enough of Silvio and his pet dog Galliani, they have been bleeding Milan dry since WE ruled European football in 2007.
on the 25th January, 2015 at 3:03am
Unfortunately it seems more likely that milan will just get rid of inzaghi rather than address any real change, hell add him to maldini seedorf leonardo and milan has quite a list of former players they have alienated. Nevermind at least this milan still has it fantastic managerial team and ever present owner who despite his age thinks he can live the lifestyle of a 20 year old yep that is going to end well.
on the 25th January, 2015 at 12:06am
I'm not saying these players need to be in the team now. But Milan need to be looking at challenging again in 3-5 years when these players are old enough. That means there must be a plan and the team must improve each year rather than standing still or going backwards. The failure to address the very clear defensive issues is so incompetent as to be breathtaking.
on the 24th January, 2015 at 11:52pm
@ G30FF and Anonymous When players like Darmian, Astori and Paloschi were overlooked in favour of the likes of Thiago Silva, Nesta and Shevchenko that was one thing but our young players are being overlooked in favour of utterly average players. Mastour is already being linked with La Liga and the Premiership and why would he stick around at Milan. The chances of him playing in the next few years are pretty slim and he'll be coming into a side bereft of confidence and quality.
on the 24th January, 2015 at 11:49pm
Mexes' 16th career red and 126 yellow cards in 512 games. By contrast in 849 games Maldini got 3 red cards and 74 yellow cards. Says it all really.
on the 24th January, 2015 at 11:42pm
They didn't even get a look in. Surely they can be no worse than the half hearted efforts we had on the pitch already. This youth problem has been a huge issue for years and stands out even more now.
Inzaghi is a legend in what he has achieved, but his lack of tactical knowledge through inexperience is inexcusable.
Not once did we even have a half decent defensive cover phase of the game. We don't have a great team but it is better than some we have lost to this season.
on the 24th January, 2015 at 11:16pm
Well, after watching another mockery tonight. Yes a new owner is needed with the vision and foresight to bring a once great Milan back from the dead. But what is going on here? We are constantly told how good Milans youth system is and how reliable their players are, we then watch them get constantly ignored and farmed out to teams who lets face it are now on the same level as us.

Inzaghi made a great noise about calling up youth players for this Lazio game, as maldini's heir predicted........
on the 24th January, 2015 at 11:07pm
SELL 45% share to an investor, and partner up for a new 50 thousand seat stadium and VOILA!.....MILAN`S BACK IN THE GAME WHERE THEY BELONG. WHOA! and this is coming from a JUVE FOR LIFE FAN.... I JUST WANT SERIA A BACK where it belong`s ----ON TOP BABY----.
on the 24th January, 2015 at 9:33pm
@Carlor
A wealthy owner that keeps quality is what we need... how do you sell silva and ibra etc and leave us with mexes, bonera, essien and then act surprised when we fail to qualify for Europe! Berlusconi treats us like we are stupid, any man saying this teams good enough needs serious help! I'm not saying buy loads of players I'm saying keep the quality; we'll sell Menez at the end of season and he will pocket the cash and give us another free signing and you'll be there sponging in his BS!
on the 24th January, 2015 at 9:30pm
@Carlor10 The Deloitte rankings came a few days ago. I don't know if understand how a club like AC Milan who is 10th or 11th in the revenue rankings still underperforms so much and we still blame it on money and investments. Where does all the revenue go? Roma and Inter have much less revenue and are able to get better players and a better more experienced coach. Even the revenue dIfference between Juve and Milan is not that great.
on the 24th January, 2015 at 3:19pm
Marketing relies on a successful team with cache. Look at Barca, Madrid and even Chealski. Fans want to wear the merchandise of teams that have status. It may be trivial but it's a fact. Changing ownership is not just about finding foreign money it's about adding an injection of vision and regeneration. Roma have a plan under American ownership. And their profile is expanding. Milan in the 90s were one of the best club teams ever and Berlusconi should be lauded for that. time to move on though.
on the 24th January, 2015 at 3:14pm
cont. I would like to see leonardo or maldini brought in to the club hierarchy or to be honest anyone with a plan, even a bad plan, it would be better than the total vacuum of decision making we have today.
on the 24th January, 2015 at 2:21pm
Selling the club wil only be of use if the right investor comes in & puts someone in charge with real vision & ability. B&G had great success when they could just buy a few of the best players in the world every year and not worry about the cost gullit, van baston, weah, baggio, shev, costa, stam, nesta all could a been signed by 10yr kid. Today they are out of their dept no great scouting structure to find cheap young talents or even a culture of playing youths & no money to buy quality.
on the 24th January, 2015 at 2:18pm
Carlor10 says it all. FFP has changed the rules...you can't sell the club to a zillionaire any more and expect huge increase of personal funding or dodgy non-market value sponsorship. What do REAL football fans want....sensible expenditure or ticket prices which they can't afford? Babs has the right idea in marketing the club better to get the income but realists understand that this will take time - but they are slowly getting there.
on the 24th January, 2015 at 11:17am
Milan desperately need their own 50.000 stadium to compete with the big clubs. Juventus revenues have trebled since moving to their new arena.
on the 23rd January, 2015 at 11:32pm
Inter are equally if not worse off than Milan financially yet they have signed Shaqiri, Podolski & Brozovic? It boils down to ambition & Milan are stuck telling thr world how successful they were in the 90's instead of realising success in football is reletive to the present.
on the 23rd January, 2015 at 10:01pm
Inzaghi's has called up a couple of youth players for the lazio game but realistically what chance have they got of getting near the first team when our squad is so big. These are problems with lots of serie a clubs not just milan. So a sale is an absolute must but we need someone who will be interested in developing the long term future of the club based players who the fans can relate to and who can symbolise the club.
on the 23rd January, 2015 at 9:47pm
Burlusconi and Galliani of course have to go but as I've said on the Roma blog italian football needs to change. It's not about money. It's about having a plan. Milan have some cracking players coming through from the primavera. Mastour is the obvious one but locatelli and cutrone are both also 16 and playing in the primavera. The future of these players depends on milan getting their act together quickly or else understandably they will go the same way as Cristante.
on the 23rd January, 2015 at 9:43pm
Also rebranding and new marketing strageies are needed! The epl is always touted as the best league and is sooo isnt! Its the best BRAND theres a diff! Clever marketing is the ploy used in england along with some manipulation of numbers! I.e real attendance numbers! Serie needs to address these and quick and the longer we look out of our depth in europe the longer it will hurt..serie a probably also needs to start 2 weeks earlier then it does!
on the 23rd January, 2015 at 8:33pm
With ffp in.place as others have stated milan and italian footy cannot make any head way wuth rich owners as the epl has done quite a few years back its goin to take time and structural change starting with stadia. Fan/fam friendly environments mentality change. If this isnt the same for ALL of italian footy and quick we will suffer even more there are signs of imrpovement but as with germany we need to start now! And also use the youth no matter what the age use them!
on the 23rd January, 2015 at 8:29pm
The smart sale is to look at an American Investor's that have billions to spend and are hungary to win.
on the 23rd January, 2015 at 2:45pm
The team has been managed into the ground.From money to transfers to coaching.But until B&G are gone,it is down to Pippo to make the best use of what he has.1.Start Pazzini who seems more dangerous in 10min than the other forwards in 90min.2.Play Honda and Menez in midfield with De Jong.3.Start Jack on the wing opposite SES.It has become clear that our midfield cant protect the defense so why not let them help the offense.IMO a 4-4-2 would be the ideal solution but we have no real strikers.
on the 23rd January, 2015 at 1:52pm
It's obvious Berlusconi doesn't have it in him anymore.

The current rot set in maybe 8 years ago when they started to go for the cheaper, band-aid signings replace what was then a great team.

But once that great team was past it, then that was it. Senderos, Mancini, Essien, Torres, Shevchenko's return etc are the type of player they are into now.

Even the ones they do spend money on are usually brain dead signings too. Ronaldinho - past it, Matri and Constant - cost 20m!
on the 23rd January, 2015 at 1:10pm

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