Shameful treatment of Seedorf and business mismanagement (by Greg McDonald)

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FAN ARTICLE by Greg McDonald.

When Clarence Seedorf was appointed as Milan manager in January, he brought fresh ideas, enthusiasm, a new philosophy of play and a new formation. Despite taking on a team that was assembled for a staggeringly small amount of money, few would argue that Seedorf achieved this.

Seedorf’s Milan lost only one of their remaining eleven fixtures, an away defeat to arguably the most impressive team in the league; Roma. This streak included impressive victories against rivals Fiorentina and Inter. But for some reason we kept hearing that Seedorf’s job wasn’t safe, he was working miracles with a team that cost virtually nothing and was constantly quizzed by journalists about his future; Seedorf kept a dignified silence throughout while Berlusconi did anything but.

Video: Balotelli interviews himself about the 2014 World Cup
Milan have decided: Inzaghi will replace Seedorf

Both Berlusconi and Galliani never missed an opportunity to dangle Seedorf’s future in front of him. Publically and shamefully courting Montella and Spalletti, who both had enough sense to stay well away, and claiming that rest-home senior citizens could do Seedorf’s job. All to the disbelief to millions of Milanisti at how the legend was being treated with no apparent reason.

So what it the reason for this? No-one knows yet, one thing is for sure, Seedorf had plans, he had a clear vision of how he wanted the team to play, myself and many others assumed that the remainder of the 13/14 season would be seen as a bedding in period, then Seedorf could have a whole summer to prepare for next season, identifying targets, getting his preferred staff in (Crespo, Stam, Kluivert and Davids were all rumoured to take coaching positions), drilling his footballing philosophy (a word he used a lot) into his players. Seedorf also claimed that a large percentage of players were unfit, perhaps a sideswipe at Allegri but an entirely justified one and that he wanted to get rid of two thirds of the squad, a move I’m sure most Milan fans would welcome with open arms.

But all of this comes as a threat, could Berlusconi’s ego handle Seedorf getting so much credit for an up-turn in fortunes? It appears not. Seedorf wanted a young side, an attacking side, Berlusconi says he wants champagne football yet he kept Max “Boateng is a trequartista” Allegri in a job for nearly four years.

That could be one reason, but we all know, the biggest issue is cost. I get the feeling that Seedorf wanted to clean house, get rid of useless players unworthy of the shirt and replace them with his kind of players. To do this would cost money, something we all know Milan have but are unwilling to spend. Not to say that business is thriving because it isn’t, why not? Let’s see.

In the 2002/2003 season and several seasons prior Milan generated more income (£200m) than Barcelona and Real Madrid, the same teams who bought Neymar and Bale last season. In subsequent years Milan’s income generally stagnate while the Spanish duo’s jumped up 20, 30, 40m seemingly each year. The 2012-13 money league shows Real and Barca generate 520 and 480m respectively, while Milan sit at 263m. Just to stress, only ten years ago, Milan had more financial muscle than Barcelona and Real Madrid. So why is it in the last ten years Milan have grown their revenue on and off by 60m while the Spanish giants have boosted theirs by over 300m each? What kind of incompetence possibly occurred to let them pull this far ahead? They can’t blame the economy, that has affected Spain just as much as it has Italy. It’s because while Laporta and Calderon followed by Perez were busy establishing their brands and expanding their stadia, Berlusconi and Galliani were obliviously riding on former glories.

Our first taste of what has now become commonplace at Milan came in the summer of 2006, the best striker in the world Andriy Shevchenko was sold to Chelsea and Milan were outbid by Barcelona for Eric Abidal. I was stunned “why do Milan have to sell their best player?” and “how could Barcelona offer more than Milan?”. Of course it has just got worse in subsequent years, worst of all came in 2009 with the sale of Kaka to Madrid, as long as we had the best player in the world we could still call ourselves a top team, but his sale five years ago signaled the end. Since then we’ve seen the best defender in world leave very much against his own will, and surely the same fate awaits El Shaarawy.

In this time we’ve had to witness the embarrassment of having an entire team that costs less than one top player, let’s break down the cost of a typical Milan line-up from 13/14: Abbiati – FREE; De Sciglio – FREE, Mexes – FREE, Rami – FREE (loan), Emanuelson – 2.5m; Montolivo – FREE, De Jong – 3m; Taarabt – FREE (loan), Honda – FREE, Kaka – FREE; Balotelli 17.6m.

The 15 most valuable football brands (Milan 14th), according to Brand Finance

I’m aware that our bench is actually more expensive, (Pazzini, Matri, El Shaarawy and Robinho all cost some kind of money) but the fact is here that a typical Milan 13/14 XI cost just north of 22m. That’s about as much as PSG paid for their janitor. It is also shockingly low compared to the likes of Sunderland, Cardiff City, QPR etc who have nowhere near the income and fanbase that Milan do, it is not fair and the fans have suffered long enough. I’ve seen many people this week compliment Real Madrid’s best player of the season Angel Di Maria and the fact that he “only” cost 25m, still more than a typical Milan starting eleven.

But Milan still earned GOOD money (until they finished outside Champions League places), there is no reason not to have a player in each position that cost, say, 10 million. Look at Roma, in my opinion the best team in Serie A and the best to watch, they planned and scouted who they wanted and paid good, not crazy money for the likes of Benatia, Pjanic, Strootman and Gervinho. Last summer Milan were outbid for Mahamadou Sakho, a player we could have really used, by Liverpool, a team with less prestige, unable to offer Champions League football and lower in the money league than Milan at the time, unacceptable in my view.

My hunch is that Galliani brought back a list of players from his three agent contacts (whom he hasn’t burned bridges with by lowballing) back to Seedorf, I’ll take a stab at the likes of Sculli, Lodi, Parolo, hell – probably Luca Toni being in there! Seedorf thought “are you kidding me? I was thinking more like Maher, Klassie, Siquera” and we know now that it’s Galliani’s way or the highway.

I’ve always been reluctant to say, just sell the club to a Russian billionaire, throw money at it. All I’ve wanted is a plan, a project, something with goals and clear milestones that doesn’t get put on hold after every wobble and patched up with a Matias Silvestre sized band-aid. But the only person at Milan who seems to understand this is Silvio’s daughter Barbara, and it’s still unclear how much power she has, if any. So I say sell the club, can it really be any worse than it is now? Look at Inter, recently purchased by Indonesian Tycoon Eric Thohir, 1-2 years ago they were an even bigger joke than Milan, then in January they signed Hernanes WITHOUT selling beforehand, it was a clear sign of intent from Thohir. This summer Inter have already signed Vidic (okay so that is quite a Milan move) and Thohir expects “a few” new signings in the coming weeks, they guy is clearly working hard to see Inter improve in terms of branding, marketing, worldwide exposure and footballing spectacle and he is getting it done early. While right now I can practically smell Milan announcing the free transfer of Lassana Diarra on August 31st.

So I urge fans in Milan, protest! Let the club know you are disgusted by the treatment of a legend and woeful incompetence for the best part of a decade, and good luck Mister Inzaghi, we’re all rooting for you. But we all know you don’t have a chance of bringing Milan back to where they belong with these two in charge.

48 COMMENTS

  1. Protest by not buying Milan merchandise, or going to the matches. They were worried when people were cancelling their season tickets.

    Berlusconi doesn’t care anymore. Galliani is worse. They need to sell Milan, even if the new owners are not some crazy Russian tycoon.

    • I weep each time I see the shambolic display of my beloved milan cos looking at the milan of Old I could beat my chest no matter the name of our opponents. I want to ask Mr bel and Mr Gil, how do you feel watching my beloved milan deteriorate to this point? What’s your take in bringing an impotent striker in the likes of fernando into my beloved team? “Weeping”. Thanks for ruining san siro. The club need to be sold leaving just Mrs Barbra

  2. While I’m against sacking Seedorf I understand it. He’s slot the team and with our most important players.. Abate Montolivo de sciglio Abbiati and others aren’t behind him, they’re the most important players in the dressing room. Also he’s lost the staff and wants to totally replace them. I believe Seedorf is very intelligent and has a bright future ahead of him but maybe things moved too fast in milan.

    Inzaghi is a good choice cause he’s italian, has some experience and he’s a legend where everybody respects and loves him. Tassotti will stay with inzaghi whole Berlusconi might be kind enough to give inzaghi some gifts in the team. But I also fear that galliani has control of inzaghi and inzaghi will work with and not complain about what he is given. Whatever the case is I only hope for the best for milan

    • Good explanation! At least its more logical to a claim that Berlusconi and Galliani doesnt care about Milan any longer.. Which is even more laughable than the mismanagement by the Milan’s board (which included Galliani, n Barbara)Why? Have you ever heard that an owner do not care about their own business/properties? If Milan is no longer profittable or Berlusconi do not care anymore, he would have sold Milan years ago! I love seedorf and i dont like how B&G treated him.. but what he said in the press conference has caused problems, you should not say that you dont want 2/3 of the players in the team and the season is only running halfway. Not playing Abate is another thing that raised the question mark.. Criticizing Balo publicly is not wise either.. Ancelotti would never criticize his players openly to the public.

      Its all gone wrong for Milan, we can only wish the best of luck for Pippo!

      • Just to be clear, he never said in a press conference that he didn’t want 2/3s of the team, Clarence is too great of a person for that, he did apparently say it to the leader of the Ultras, who then foolishly said it in public. And he didn’t criticize Balo in any other way Balo hasn’t already been criticized, in fact, if anything Clarence was blamed for being overprotective of Balo. Only negative with Clarence was him not playing Abate, but obviously this has with the falling out to do, which @11fifaplayer pointed out.

      • Seedorf never said he wanted to replace 2/3 of the team in a press conference nor has he criticized balo. For the second one, if he did criticize balo then kudos to him becuz balo needs a reality check!

  3. while I’m agree about mismanagement at Milan, the overaxaggeratting of Seedorf’s ability is near ridiculuos. He isn’t even a real coach, and failed at his task given to him. At least Pippo has experience with youngster team.

  4. while I’m agree about mismanagement at Milan, the overaxaggeratting of Seedorf’s ability is near ridiculuos. He isn’t even a real coach, and failed at his task given to him. At least Pippo has experience with youngster team.

  5. If only the management or an important person reads this blog and know how much we (the fans) are struggling. I’m really sad for seedorf because of the way he has been treated but atleast he can rest from B&G. Forza Seedorf. Forza Inzaghi. Forza Milan.

  6. Berlusconi….he acts like a kid…hu doesnt knw his left or right..nd dat stupid Galliani….with his cheap players

  7. this is bad he did well, when you thing that that he stand up and he took over the team in very bad condition, and now they treat him like that, he had ideas of a great team, and now we can say godbay to taarab, Doria, gabriel and other talents from Holland 🙁 this is just great,
    Inzaghi he dit well last year this year dispite having the bedst primevare team he still dint win the primevare lige ac milan primevara finished 3. and now they tak him the the first team !!! stupidity of them let this happend !!!!
    now the fansk can be redy for another humiliating seson 🙁

  8. I wish Seedorf best of luck in is career wow galliani is nt a gud man he do not want success for the fans i belive his problem is if any coach do not agree with what he want he will get rigd of the player such a things also occur at chelsea when ever they appiont a coach and the coach refuse too use cole,lampard,and co they will make sure the coach leave the club galliani or what u ar called i petty for ur life.

  9. I wish Seedorf best of luck in is career wow galliani is nt a gud man he do not want success for the fans i belive his problem is if any coach do not agree with what he want he will get rigd of the coach such a things also occur at chelsea when ever they appiont a coach and the coach refuse too use cole,lampard,and co they will make sure the coach leave the club galliani or what u ar called i petty for ur life.

  10. I just hope that Pippo will be treated better, and that he will in fact trust his youth and not be forced any more Constant’s his way by Galliani. Get rid of the dead weight, promote Iotti, Pacifico perhaps Pinato, and count on Saponara, Cristante and Petagna. With the addition of just ONE quality player and I for one would be perfectly fine with the mercato. I feel so bad for Clarence though, we could really go places with him. I love Pippo, he’s the reason I started to watch Milan, I hope he won’t be treated this way as no one deserves it, and that he will in fact get the full support of the management to do implement his ideas.

  11. Omg, Rami will leave.. :/

    Rami posted a photo with Ses,Balotelli and other people on twitter. And the title of the picture was : last moments with milanplayers ..

    His twitter: rami13officiel

  12. I find fine Inzaghi, but I dont like the way Seedorf was treated even if I wasnt a very big fan of him from the start. But unfortunately all this mess show that we have turned to a small club last years… Immediately changes in management(Maldini) and quality players are needed asap

  13. Say bye bye to NDJ,Mario,Doria,Maher,Umtiti,Indi.Adel,SES.
    Inzaghi likes Matri,that is one fact you should know.
    Seedorf doesn’t play Abate,Montolivo,Abiatti,who said so?,Abate isn’t creative and Seedorf said he want a left footed LB,or if for any other reason,every coach has his own choice just like Mourinho rejected Kaka,Mata and now A.Cole.
    Forza Seedorf.

  14. Say bye bye to NDJ,Mario,Doria,Maher,Umtiti,Indi.Adel,SES.
    Inzaghi likes Matri,that is one fact you should know.
    Seedorf doesn’t play Abate,Montolivo,Abiatti,who said so?,Abate isn’t creative and Seedorf said he want a left footed LB,or if for any other reason,every coach has his own choice just like Inzaghi likes Matri and remember that Mourinho rejected Kaka,Mata and now A.Cole.
    Forza Seedorf.

  15. Its funny dt pple think B & G wll treat Inzaghi any different than seedorf… @Fendi. Wats d task given to seedorf nd how dd he failed??? #note… Galliani mentioned uefa qualification as a mark for seedorf after they saw him performing well nd their differences arising. But it was never mentioned at d time of appointing him as d coach..

  16. Its funny dt pple think B & G wll treat Inzaghi any different than seedorf… @Fendi. Wats d task given to seedorf nd how dd he failed??? #note… Galliani mentioned uefa qualification as a mark for seedorf after they saw him performing well nd their differences arising. But it was never mentioned at d time of appointing him as d coach..

  17. one benefit which i see from inzaghi being appointed is the fact that we might see a little more influence from our youth sector and this youth project might actually begin Mastalli, Pacifico,cristante,iotti,mastour they may all recieve chances under pippo although the sacking of seedorf was a bit unfair

  18. Milan doesn’t have any plan in the last 10 years. Our 2007 Champions League success was miracle by our great players and great coach, but management doesn’t have any plan for a very long time.

    We sold Kaka, Ibra and Thiago Silva against their will. We are constantly buying (or signing) free or really cheap players. Even our most expensive signings like Balotelli and Matri are much cheaper then signing made by Napoli or Roma!!!

    I really hope that Barbara will bring someone at the club, who will buy Milan, help Milan to make a new modern stadium, reform marketing department, improve facilities, youth team and of course BUY SOME REALLY QUALITY PLAYERS.

    And I hope that bringing back Sacchi and Albertini can bring us something good.

    Forza Milan!!!

  19. Berlusconi only used Milan to enhance his political career thus to get people to vote for his party.And now that he is not in active politics there is no way he will continue to invest money into the club.Galliani is a dictator any one that oppose him will face the axe,they areon firing seedorf because they can not dictate for him like the way they use to threat Alegri like their puppet

  20. Are B&G still running the show? Gosh! I stopped giving a damn a while back, hoping they would be gone soon or at least that cancer that is galliani #BringMaldiniBack. Oh well I will continue to do so until these two senile old fools gtfo of Milan! I am just sick and tired.

  21. You need someone with deep connection with the CEO of president of other clubs. Maldini is great but he needs to wait for a few more years. G although i hate his guts, he has like sick hookup in the world of football. Dont you agree?

  22. Guys we will have to protest else B&G will just finish our milan and in few years milan would be sighted nowhere
    See Galliani wanted to impose himself and his players on Seedorf, whereas seedrf had other ideas, and now seedorf is sacked…. And same will happen with inzaghi…
    My friends Milan is in great problem…
    We should protest and revive our lovely club…
    Everyone plz raise your voice…..

    • Galliani is not imposing himself or players on anybody. A coach is not bigger than a club. Ground rules governing the club must be follow,if he fails – that is where he has a problem with the OWNER.

  23. If i were inzaghi, and milan refuses to buy the players i need, i will gladly use the youth team i have instead of the nonsense first team squad.

  24. So Berlusconi hand-picking ‘inexperience’ Seedorf was okay???
    But firing after realizing he made a grave mistake hiring a noob, who got him a fair result but failed to bring the locker room to his control ISN’T OKAY???

    “This morning I met many people at the retirement home, who could control Milan’s dressing room well,” – Berlusconi . Enough said!!

  25. When seedorf signed a contract he’s minimum requirement was to secure a Europa League spot. If he failed to secure it then a clause would allow SB to sack him and not pay his full severance package, thats exactly what happened. Yes seedorf brought new and refreshing ideas, he brought an attacking system that was lacking from Allegri but at the end of the day he failed to qualify for the EL.

    Inzaghi has more experience and it’s obvious that a few more youth players will be promoted. All I wish to see is players like saponara nd cristante get a shot too. .. FORZA MILAN

  26. U guys should not expect anything good from this move B&G are making, or u risk getting a high blood pressure at the end of the marceto. Inzahgi must remember that he is about to sit on dsame sit of a man who was betrayed by is own people. U are at risk getting dsame treatment if u don’t play the puppet, don’t be too relaxed my dear PIPPO.

  27. The problem is Berlosconi is under the impression that he has won all the titles and not the players and coaches. The only way this will change is if he goes. Until then not much going to change

  28. A good essay.

    Not only Seedorf was being treated wrong, all of us too.
    I am afraid Pippo is going to be treated the same.
    When that happens, I am going to boycott the team that I have been supporting for 24 years.

    Forza Milan and good luck Seedorf.

  29. but you are wrong, to protest for seedorf? why? because you like how seedorf treats gabriel, cristante, abate and zapata? no thanks, inzaghi will be the right coach.

    you say that de sciglio, abate, montolivo, de jong are free? what about llorente, pogba, pirlo, what about gabi, koke, curtois, miranda? they are 0 transfers too.

  30. very lovely article.
    i don’t see any difference in what Inzaghi will do, he may suffer the same fate as Seedorf. who says Abate is a good player? he has shown no improvements and i don’t think he deserves any renewal. same goes for Abbiati too and we couldn’t even pay to get Machetti. well that’s how low we’ve fallen.

  31. Seedorf was a poor coach. He has no business coaching professional football with zero experience. Every game he had a “deer in headlights” look on his face because he had no clue how to manage a game. If he were a great / decent coach another club would have snatched him up by now. Look at Allegri, he is a good coach with experience….Juventus snatched him up and they are doing well. Yes, Milan’s problems were not Seedorf’s fault, nor Allegri’s, nor are they Inzaghi’s . But to take a large leep and say “he was working miracles” is completely off base. Let’s not forget that the players play the games…thank Kaka, Taarabat and company for Seedorf’s 11 game coaching record.

  32. @Forza. who told you that seedorf is not picked by any club? he must wait for his contract to expire before signing for another club because milan is still paying him his salary, but if he want to sign for another club, milan will stop paying him.

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