Fassone: “An important budget for the summer mercato, our goal is to build a very competitive Milan, coach Montella has our total and full support, Donnarumma and Suso are priorities”

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Marco Fassone during a press conference at Casa Milan on the 14th of April 2017. (@acmilan.com)
Marco Fassone during a press conference at Casa Milan on the 14th of April 2017. (@acmilan.com)

Marco Fassone spoke at (great) length in today’s press conference at Casa Milan, confirming the new management’s intention to invest in the market, stressing that Vincenzo Montella is the coach Milan want for the future, and discussing many other important topics including Suso, Gigio and Deulofeu.

Yesterday Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux completed their €740m takeover of Milan and today new owner and President Yonghong Li was introduced to the press. Along with him, came Marco Fassone, who has been selected by the new management to replace Galliani and Barbara in the role of the CEO.

Fassone, who previously worked for Inter and Juventus (and also has a background as a referee), answered at length to the many questions of the journalists in the press room, who wanted to know what the future holds for Milan now that the ‘closing’ finally happened, after the many delays.

“Good morning to everyone,” Fassone started. “It’s an historic and important day for this wonderful club. I want to say three thanks: the first to Mr. [Yonghong] Li and Mr. Han [Li] who have given me this opportunity and always confirmed their trust, enduring various temptations.

“I will try to repay their confidence and I have a very strong sense of responsibility. In addition to President Berlusconi, the second thanks goes to Adriano Galliani and Barbara Berlusconi, who in the past eight months could have had a very different attitude but instead gave me their availability.

Han Li (L), Yonghong Li (C) and Marco Fassone (R) during a press conference at Casa Milan on the 14th of April 2017. (@acmilan.com)
Han Li (L), Yonghong Li (C) and Marco Fassone (R) during a press conference at Casa Milan on the 14th of April 2017. (@acmilan.com)

“The third thanks goes to you the journalists and Milan fans. We chose to stay behind the scenes and not speak. I realize it has been difficult to get only partial information, because you had to follow this huge change with little information. I believe it was the right choice and the correct one in the long term. In terms of communication, from this moment on the relationship between us will be different.

“Berlusconi? In addition to all his qualities, he’s also a great communicator and last night [over dinner at Arcore] he was able to show us his love for the club but also his emotional detachment from what has been his creation for 31 years. I think he could sense that our ownership is not here for business, we’ll try to take care of his child, which he deposited in the right hands, with affection.

“Life after the ‘closing’? Up until now I was behind the scenes acting as an advisor and trying to give the best advice. Now I do my job from within the club, taking advantage of the fact that from August 5th I’ve known the sporting, economic and commercial reality of Milan.

Marco Fassone during a press conference at Casa Milan on the 14th of April 2017. (@acmilan.com)
Marco Fassone during a press conference at Casa Milan on the 14th of April 2017. (@acmilan.com)

“The mercato budget? We have some ideas and in time, we’ll meet with Massimo Mirabelli, who will be the new sporting director of Milan, and with David Han. We’re eager for the chance to work. We’ve already met with clubs and agents. The key step will be to get us at the table with the coach Vincenzo Montella and discuss our ideas together in order to operate in the market.

“The budget will be important, the goal for the coming years is to build a very competitive and ambitious Milan. Of course, I will have the economic means to try to create a team to achieve these goals in the short term. Promises to the fans regarding our first moves? Well there are two things which are crucial to me. First of all, we must think about building the sporting side for the next season, so creating and shaping the new squad.

“Of course because of the delays in the negotiations and the fact that we’re in April, one month and a half before the start of the transfer market, we had to change some objectives but anyways, myself, Mirabelli, Montella and the owners, want to fulfil our promises and I would like to be there in July, when the pre-season starts and allow Mr. Montella to have a squad which will be ready and done at the level of 70% [of the team we want to have for the start of the season].

Yonghong Li (C) and Han Li (R) listening during Marco Fassone's press conference at Casa Milan on the 14th of April 2017. (@acmilan.com)
Yonghong Li (C) and Han Li (R) listening during Marco Fassone’s press conference at Casa Milan on the 14th of April 2017. (@acmilan.com)

“The second part that we haven’t talked about yet, but is crucial for Milan, is that our goal is to become as soon as possible one of the most important clubs in the world and this will pass through the Chinese market. To me, the business program of the new owners is so innovative. When last September I was talked about some objectives, I was skeptical because in our western mindset, it was difficult to think about such a huge growth in Asian countries.

“But when I went to China, I understood that there is a huge potential in the Asian market. And you can make the best out of this market only with a local, a Chinese owner, and I hope that the key will be the new ownership. Our idea is to create a Chinese company assigned only to the business, which develops some of the brand in China to increase revenue and turnover. So a vicious cycle starts that can continuously feed us. Next summer will be crucial for the creation of this company.

Vincenzo Montella lifting the Supercoppa Italiana trophy after beating Juventus 5-4 after pealties at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on the 23rd of December 2016 (@acmilan.com)
Vincenzo Montella lifting the Supercoppa Italiana trophy after beating Juventus 5-4 after pealties at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on the 23rd of December 2016 (@acmilan.com)

“How the new ownership likes Montella? I’ll gladly answer this question, Montella has all our respect and our appreciation. In June last year we liked him. Our total and full support is in Montella. If I see Roberto Mancini, who said firing me from Inter was a mistake, as the coach Milan? Mancini is one of the best managers I know and he needs no endorsement. While I want to thank him for what he said, I want to stress it, to highlight and clear it: Vincenzo Montella is the manager of this squad, of this club; and of course I wish Mancini the best. But for the future of the club, we have Montella.

“What is the backbone of the current squad? Well first of all my observations are those of an outside observer, I’ve watched all the matches since last August, I talked about them with everyone including Adriano Galliani so I have my ideas. My idea is of a talented, future-oriented squad.

“I think we’re the youngest squad among the 20 squads in Serie A and this fact is an act of great courage, someone might even consider too much, but for those who observe from outside, I can say that I have a very talented young squad and I see from outside that there are some young players from our academy that are guaranteed for the future. At the same time, I think that we must help them with some experience, with players who can help these young talents grow, creating a mix that has always been a success between experience, talent, habit to playing important matches and mental-physiological freshness that makes young and experienced talents who can lead us to the top.

“If there’s room for young Italian talents or other profiles? We can’t do without Italian talents, apart from regulations and the fact that 8 players must come from our academy or from Italian background. Luckily, we have lots of them. We are not aiming only at international level. Galliani told me that within our academy, there are several players who are very strong.

The Milan squad celebrating with the trophy after winning the 2016 Supercoppa Italiana against Juventus at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on the 23rd of December 2016. (@acmilan.com)
The Milan squad celebrating with the trophy after winning the 2016 Supercoppa Italiana against Juventus at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on the 23rd of December 2016. (@acmilan.com)

“What department on the pitch needs most intervening? There is not one part of that team that is more fragile than others. The idea of Massimiliano Mirabelli is to reinforce the squad in the market, it needs to be shared with Montella. As for the profiles, I can tell you that some of the names we’ve thought are appreciated by the new ownership. We’d like to have within the club 1-2 very high profile, world class, players. You can imagine that it’s not easy to fulfil this promise and it takes the club on one side and the player on the other, but of course we’d like to go in this direction.

“The sporting side? Mirabelli will be the director of sport. We have no intention to revolutionize everything. Milan is already working. We’re in April and until the end of May we’ll have the time to talk to everyone and pave the way towards the best possible future for the beginning of pre-season.

“The contracts that need to be renewed? Up until now I preferred not to make any meetings because formally the meeting would have to be shared. But from tomorrow we will have the operating activity begin and so the phones [of agents] will start ringing. There are players expiring in 2018 and we have priorities. For example, Suso is a priority, and we will have a busy schedule over the next days.

“The renewal of Gianluigi Donnarumma? I can confirm that there is the will to solve this quickly as a club and make Gigio a future figurehead. There are contracts and discussions to be had and we will certainly make this a priority. Gerard Deulofeu [on loan at Milan from Everton]? It’s a hot topic, we know that we have these players and these are the contract and of course his potential his huge. We’ll talk to Montella and try to understand what we can do with Deulofeu and we’ll see.

Marco Fassone during a press conference at Casa Milan on the 14th of April 2017. (@acmilan.com)
Marco Fassone during a press conference at Casa Milan on the 14th of April 2017. (@acmilan.com)

“The Europa League? The Europa League is an important step forward because if you do not participate, if you miss the European stage, well, it’s something you miss, because you need to get accustomed to the European league. I know playing once a week allows you to rest more but if we want to be a stronger side, it’s important to qualify for the Europa League to get used to 2 mid-week night matches. We’ll see what happens over the next month.

“If Milan will be ready to fight for the Scudetto next year? I said that our goal first of all is the Champions League, we want to have a strong and sound squad. We know there are stronger sides and in the past few years they’ve proven to be this competitive. We are lucky enough to have found a squad with a good starting point. We’ll do the best to provide Montella with a strong squad.”

45 COMMENTS

  1. The feeling is very ecstatic, if we renew the major players like suso,Donarumma etc and then get a Fabregas to solidify an aspect of our midfield and then buy other sound players in our areas of need. Then our milan will be too good to be true

  2. Reportedly we have verbal agreement with Kolasinac (free transfer I think) and Fabregas (still have to work things out with Chelsea).

    If we are able to sign Deulofeu that would be great – 3 good additions to our squad.

    But still, that is not enough – we need to sell Zapata and bring in one strong CB, someone like Musacchio.
    Another creative midfielder is needed, if we are talking about world class and experience – bring Modric – he would surely cost us but he is getting older and maybe we could make deal with Real for.. 50m?
    And also – one striker is needed – Keita would be ok signing.

    ——————- Donnarumma
    DeSciglio-Romagnoli-Musacchio-Kolasinac
    —– Fabregas — Modric — Bonaventura
    ——– Suso —— Bacca —— Deulofeu

    Bench: Abate, Calabria, Gomez, Paletta, Antonelli, Locatelli, Kucka, Sosa, Lapadula, Keita

    That would be one squad able to fight for the title.

    (I know that Modric is more of a dream than reality, but as we have seen – Berlusconi sold Milan – everything is possible)

    • What the hell happened to aubameyang, sanchez, Sturridge among others? Keita, really?! It’s so obvious that we need a world class striker and it’s definitely not keita.

    • 50M for modric (32) ?? with the likes of montella or from fassone tells, i’m sure they wanna younger player for the future of the club.. my opinion isco, kovacic or verrati should be on the list

      P.S. ( Tielemans from anderlecht it’s also have huge potential i read inter and spurs has sent they scout to watch closely this boy )

    • You have the worst idea when it comes to spending. You already have 5 dislikes and no likes whatsoever. Modric is a good player but he is declining. We would be fools to pay even 30mil for a player who is past his prime. We are trying to go for younger players to people in their prime.

      The best thing we could do is go for Pulistic who is a promising youngster, Aubameyang who is still growing (especially before Real Madrid or anyone else decides to take him, and strengthen our defense with a seasoned veteran. I’m for bringing back Thiago Silva or even going for Pique if Barcelona are willing to give him up. Also Aguero is a good option for being on top if we can’t get a more polished attacker.

    • Do you know why you got so many thumbs down, you said sell zapata. Fans here are like that, zapata has caused milan so many goals, but now when he scored one, he will pair with maldini and he should also get a new contract. Thats the logic of the fans here. kids

    • My thoughts exactly bro… let’s see if they actually live up to them. Fingers crossed. At least with the confirmation of Montella and renewals.

      • The size of the transfer budget will be a good indication of how serious these guys are, but i do have a good impression of Fassone as CEO.

  3. These new owners look exhausted. I do not see much excitement judging from these photos. I really hope they live up to these promises but I am not feeling as excited as I thought I would.

  4. I still dont like these guys for some reason… They said the right things but i dont trust them for the reason Maldini dont trust them only time will tell what happens

  5. Dey seem to be saying d right things particularly​ d emotional side…Let’s just hope dey ain’t playing games with our minds….Let’s give Dem a chance

  6. Comment:I have trust in them coz they own the club mow and they will not want to see thier club going down they will want it to go high and higher. This club they bought is like a gold and they would not want to loose it.

  7. I don’t like them bcos if they were really good inter would have achieve better when they were at inter, I want galliani bcos he has done a lot for us, forza Milan.

  8. For months we wait for this transaction to close and next? Fans are judging them for senseless reasons.

    If you cant support them

  9. Keep that in mind in case Montella failed our next coach gonna be Mancini from Inter, trust me more Interist will come into ACM

  10. Just like some of us feel, I dont seem to be comfortable with this new owners.. They didn’t succeed with INTER… wondering how they can turn things around. It’s a pity Berlusconi does not have the means to make the team great again.. but am not happy that the most prestigious football club in Italy is owned by Chinese. I hope they have not bought the club solely for business purposes. My Milan should be treated like a child.. Otherwise.. we will continue to critisize them until they do the right thing.. They should be in too much haste to buy players cos all the clubs now know that we have load of money to spend.. and prices of players will be inflated. Contrary to what most people think., mildfield is not only our problem. we should ensure that we have attacking minded and creative players in all wings.. Isco of Real Madrid should be one of the players this new should get immediately.. Milan can still return to the summit of European football if we manage it well.

  11. Comment:I trust them even if they bring the whole of inter it does let them just have the expertise and quality to contribute positively into the club….and whole what he say at press conference is at point football had gone beyond the concept of Italian,football is business just like England….let remind you David gold and soluvan are former owners of Birmingham United and Birmingham were relegated and same people own Westham United and are doing good sample for you judging fassone wrongly

  12. jibola why re u abusing others, say ur own opinion, Mr man but I will not abuse anyone cos I acquired knowledge a lot

  13. First impression, Milan new owners is not a fan.. so that means its all for business, but i hope im wrong. Hope for the best. Wish many luck to the new owners and bring us to the glorious day once again. Forza Milan

  14. you want world class players? you really should sell bacca and get griezmann, the french is spectacular and too young to be missed. much better than higuain and will derserve every dollar you put in. also get a nice attacking midfielder, a good cb to complement romangnoli and and a nice rb so that we can bench abati. also please sell bertolacci, even at a loss, poli & company. clean the squad, increase its whole level, you can’t shoot for world class mentality in the fitting room and have players like that.
    it’s still too early to judge, but comes the summer, we’ll see.

  15. You guys are such a..holes on this blog milan was on a downward spiral for years you criticise and cry now there new owners with money and a project you guys still sceptical. None of you can run or buy the club so stop talking and it won’t be easy to overturn big clubs like barca bayern or real so please patience and stop the wining

  16. Comment:am used to seing gallian but nothing last forever,let’s hope the new owners bring us where we belong.forza milan

    • If he really have seen all of our games since august, which i doubt. Then it shouldnt be that hard to find the right replacements.

  17. 1) Apparently theres no money laundering scheme by berlusconi all this time, its just that milan price’s so damn high for unprofitable fc. Just like i said
    2) fassone says all the politically correct textbook manifesto, but talk is cheap so i’ll believe the ressurection when i see it. starting with acquiring of mussachio AND guys like pastore or reus type of players. If its pasalic/deulofeu all over again then i’ll know new mgmt doesnt mean business
    3) maldini wont come, get over it
    4) modric definitely wont come, unless madrid start defaulting on their wage bills
    5) the chinese new owners might be short on money but they sure as hell shrewd businessmen. If theyre gonna take over usa as world’s economic powerhouse in 2 decades, surely handling a fc isnt that hard for them. Still, i’d love it more if the buyers were football loving sugardaddies
    6) with their history, milan have enormous chances to conquer us and asian market. All they need to do is create great marketing mgmt. the revenue will rise as they perform better on the field. Making sustainable economic model is the way to go
    7) thank you so much berlu for the memories, I’ll remember those more than my first full on penetration. Better times ahead

    • Whats the matter? Are you afraid of losing jaaack?? Dont worry, it will happen VERY soon. Go and support what ever team he will join, you insult milan when paring bonavnetura with our legends

  18. A picture can tell a thousand words.. this guy’s re no fan.. they don’t look like football enthusiast, to be sincere I have never felt good about this guy’s and the entire Chinese setup, I pray I am proven wrong.. My Milan is so due to return to the upper echelons of world football. Fassone is a sweet talker, he hs some shades of galiani in him.. I wish they do the right thing to tke this club to greater heights. Forza milan.

  19. A very interestng story 2 read 4 a milan fan. And anoing one at d same tym I can’t really accept d fact balusconi has left with open teeth cos I knw he’s and wil remain d mst succesful presidor in history of milan. Cos dox people love milan not just for dia outcom of business but as part of dia blood. Only financial issue kick them away from dia dolen milan as for d new investores let’s pray dey can b able 2 match d record set by bolusconi administration. Dis player ar my dream jst pray we can b able 2 purchase them: martial, tielemans, isco sanchez and rojo Forzaa milaan!!!

  20. Everyone’s a bit racist here. Just cause the Chinese look like Chinese, you label them as tired, not serious,unfit for the job… even before they’ve even started their project.

    And just because Merda were bought out by a failure of a management does not mean that Milan’s new management are the same.

    If Berlusconi believes that these people’s project is sound, who are we to dispute that?

  21. We as ac Milan must first put our defense and midfield in order! So we must sign Musacchio to partner Romagnoli in our central defense! Then we must sign atleast two world class midfielders to strengten our weak midfield and our options are: Corentin Tolisso from Lyon, Frank Kessie from Atalanta, Youri Tielemans from Anderlecht and Isco from Real Madrid! So we must forget about Fabregas and other pretty old quick fixes, because they”re too costly, and they wont be a part of our teams core, which will be crucial for signing new players to our team! And also we must not sign Benzema or any other attacker, who is by far too costly and so old, that they”re past their prime! So instead we must consentrate on best young Italian and South-American players on the market like Barco and keep all our young prospects we have, and start scouting those two market”s really hard to find the next great players in the world, and at the same time keep our young core intact!

  22. Comment:i thank Berlusconi first of for and Milan faithful, I hope dis era we bring success to my dearest team and happiness back as we use to be
    . Milan is d best team in d whole world

  23. Good tots from you all.. We have to give the new owner our support, i want to belive they love milan why the put their money in to purchase the club and risk everything till the end with all the penalty and clauses and terms and condition behind the purchase if they fail to complete the payment.. Lets appreciate their effort.. MACRETO::::::::: I will prefer the loan player to come back when the season ends.. To see what Mauri, Mastour and others can offer during pre-season …… And the new buy.. i Think we have to let go of Octapus , While Defolue need more balance and stamina work to improve is strength. Mati , Sosa should be sold and will love Paletta and Zapata to stay… Paselic loan should be sealed . A would prefer Fermino or Coutinho to Suso. … Up front we can try out on Aubamayang, Kane of Totenham and Gambadini of Southamton, Lukaku.. i dont have strust in Sturridge and dont think he is god for italian football… CAM.. locatelli should obtain that position permanently he show good quality he deserve a first team football again inter in the debry…. cash in on montolivo and invest in any of Kross or Casemiro…. I hope my suggestion will not be criticize and condemn by many…. Forza Milan

  24. i dont knw what else u guys want in dis forum………yall complained Berlusconi & Galliani where not getting it right anymore……hence if they are not strong financially they shud sell the club…..now its sold…..what else do u guys want……at least give them benefit of doubt…..and their era dint even start with defeat cos we just played a 2-2 draw with our rivals……all the best MILAN……much love

  25. All what Milan need is young,experience n promising players who could make difference now n future n not a season players…

  26. “Give new owners benefit of the doubt”. I think thats the right expression. They ve not even started working for goodness sakes. Patience all u perssimists n dont bring those your feelings n let them hunt us please.

  27. He makes some good points. IMO We dont really need much, just a few smart additions that bridges the gap from potential to consistency in our current players. Not just any players but serial winners.

    Honestly Id sign Mascherano (Veteran, serial winner, leader, monster CDM), Glik (Rugged and raw, no nonsense, leadership), Isco (Fliar, the contract situation could land us a bargain) and for the galactico signing Aubameyang (Former youth player, serial goalscorer). Thats it. Each one has played in a fluid attacking system and would add something to the team in terms of Identity (Milan has always had leaders, magical players and serial goalscoreres) but overall they will bring consistency AND they have won trophies before.

    It would be nice to make FIFA style signings but that doesnt guarantee success. Juve has proven that in order to compete you need potential and experienced players who all have a champion mentality. They signed Alves for exactly that reason.

    We can start moulding our team with gloss signings later. For now its about moving forward.

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