Maldini on a possible return: “There are two obvious obstacles, there’s lack of clarity on the role I’m offered and I want to hear directly from the buyers, a decision in the coming days”

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Adriano Galliani and Paolo Maldini (@acmilan.com)
Adriano Galliani and Paolo Maldini (@acmilan.com)

Paolo Maldini has explained why – at the moment – he is unable to accept Marco Fassone’s offer to return as a technical director (‘what does this role mean?’) and insisted on meeting the next Chinese owners before finally deciding (‘I would just like to know from them what they intend to do for the good of Milan’).

Yesterday we learned that Paolo Maldini met Marco Fassone and the future CEO offered the legendary captain a role in the new management that he’s been entrusted by the Chinese owners to construct.

Maldini was offered the role of the Technical Director and after the first rush of optimism, a lot of reports suggested that Paolo is set to decline the offer as he wishes to have more power and autonomy if he is to come back to the club after 7 years. There were even rumours suggesting the two are in disagreement over money and that he has already said ‘no’ to Fassone, but Maldini has made everything perfectly clear in his interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport’s G.B. Olivero.

“I’ve chosen La Gazzetta to clarify things, this is not a message of anger or resentment, but of clarity,” Maldini said, as written on this morning’s edition of the pink newspaper that is based in Milano.

Paolo Maldini (@acmilan.com)
@acmilan.com

“The meetings with the new management? First of all, I’d like to stress that I respect Fassone who has a delicate task in hand. We met four times in one month [September], he told me that I’m the first and only choice and explained why: my life and story are the basis for their decision.

“Everything I’ve done for Milan has an important weight. However, just of respect for my story, if I accept to enter in Milan I will do it only by following my ideals. I deeply love this club and I can help just by listening to my heart and my head. For the good of Milan, I have to be myself.

“Problems that emerged over the course of the four meetings? I can’t assume certain responsibilities and put myself out there without identifying the buyers. I would like to know how the new owners, share the project, talk about strategies, listen to their objectives and guidelines.

“It seems to me like the minimum. Who else I met besides Fassone? David [Han Li, who gave an interview to Gazzetta yesterday], the fund’s Vice President, the only one who speaks English. But it was a 10-minute chat, he told me that he strongly wants me at Milan but we did not go further.

Paolo Maldini at the 2014 Christmas party (@acmilan.com)
Maldini at the 2014 Christmas party (@acmilan.com)

“If I presented my conditions? I don’t know if I’ll call them conditions but they were looking for me and so it’s right that I’ve asked for things. There are two obvious obstacles: the lack of direct responsibility in the technical area and the lack of clarity on the role.

“I’d be a technical director? Yes, but what does it mean? They’ve proposed a structure with Fassone as CEO, Mirabelli the director of sport and me the technical director. But the point is: what will I do? If me and Mirabelli manage the sporting part, what if we have a difference in views, then who decides? I can’t have a role in half with another person. It seems inevitable to face this problem now.

“I won’t judge those I don’t know, but I demand a shared sporting project that currently does not exist. So I asked to know the buyers and be told directly from them what they expect from me, to see that they share their project with me. If we didn’t discuss the issue of the role in the four meetings? I just know that with me there would also be Fassone and Massimiliano Mirabelli.

“But, at present, the roles are likely to overlap on many things. Too many things. I was told that the goal is to bring Milan among the top five teams in the world. But that means working 24 hours a day for a long time. I’m willing to do it but I must know well how things stand.

Maldini during Milan-Juventus on May 10, 2009 at San Siro. (Emilio Andreoli/AFP/Getty Images)
Maldini during Milan-Juventus on May 10, 2009 at San Siro. (Emilio Andreoli/AFP/Getty Images)

“A dead line? No, in the coming days it will be defined one way or another. I’m in no hurry and I really don’t see the case of being given the vastness of the project. I would just like to know from them [the buyers] what they intend to do for the good of Milan. Then I’ll put my myself, the credibility, the attachment to the colors, the time, the sharing of a project, the work.

“It is said that I want to step over Fassone [it was suggested that Maldini wants himself in a role similar to what Galliani has at Milan or Leonardo had at PSG]? It’s not true. Fassone is absolutely credible, I understand that he has ‘carte blanche’ [permission to do something in any way you choose to do it]. He was very kind with me and said really nice things. But it’s normal that I want to meet the new owners, to hear if the buyers are identified with the Rossoneri colors and with me is crucial.

“People said there are economic differences? It’s not true. We never talked about money. How can we quantify it before they tell me first what will be my role? In the four meetings we never passed the first hurdle. They haven’t implemented my request? It seems strange but it’s true. I repeat: I need to be shared with the project and hear from them what they want from me.

Maldini, Pirlo and Buffon during the inter religious "match for peace" game at Stadio Olimpico on September 1, 2014. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Maldini, Pirlo and Buffon during the inter religious “match for peace” game at Stadio Olimpico on September 1, 2014. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

“The work would be complicated by fascinating. I would leave the quiet life of these last years to get back in the game so I have to know everything – from the buyers. What will happen? You must ask them. So far there have been so many rumours and little clarify. I won’t say it to your face but it’s possible. But only with defined roles and with the sharing of the project. As was the case of the great Milan of Berlusconi. I don’t need to answer to them, but they need to answer me.

“I realize that I can seem like a complicated man, but this character and my approach to life have led me to be who I am. And then I am obliged to be so: This is Milan. It is no joke,” concluded Maldini.

Maldini lifts the Champions League trophy after Milan 2-1 Liverpool at the Olympic Stadium on May 23, 2007 in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Maldini lifts the Champions League trophy after Milan 2-1 Liverpool at the Olympic Stadium on May 23, 2007 in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Paolo also released a statement to Sky Italia last night, saying similar things: “My name is mentioned a bit too often, sometimes with false or unverifiable stories. It’s true I met Fassone and Mirabelli at my home, I was told the objective was to take Milan back to being one of the top clubs in the world within five years. My history as a man and a Milan player forces me to understand deep down the ideas of the new owners, their projects and how they are thinking of acting.

“I need to hear it directly from them. If I am to put my face, heart and passion into this, working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, then I want to do it for a truly serious project. I am ready to transform my life. It is not me who sought out Milan, but them who came to me, so I consider it only right that I get the chance to speak to the new owners before making a final decision.

“This is an issue of principle and of justice. I read some reports I made elevated financial requests: I have made no requests at all in that sense. I read that I set certain conditions: I merely pointed out that if I was to be made technical director, it would be right that I make my own decisions and that includes making my own autonomous mistakes. That does not mean by-passing Fassone’s role.

Paolo Maldini, Zanetti (@acmilan.com)
@acmilan.com

“It has been said I lack experience. I feel the need to note that I have experience on a technical level, having spent a lifetime with the Milan jersey, which I continue to consider not a second skin, but my one and only skin. I want it to be clear, so we can avoid any type of misunderstanding: any decision I make will be solely for the good of Milan. If at the end of the day I should be a part of the new club, it’ll mean that contact with the owners – obviously shared with Fassone – are continual and constructive. Hearing from them every now and then would not be useful.

“If we are to get back to the top, we must do it all together within a shared project. It has also been said that my negative response has already arrived: quite simply, right now, I do not agree with the role that has been offered me. I request respect, the respect that I feel I deserve.”

It remains to be seen if Maldini, with his characteristic honesty and to-the-point attitude, will get to meet with the owners whose names will only be publicly revealed after the ‘closing’ in November.

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YK
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YK

Yea., Inter have Zanetti as their VP,what about Juve and Nedved? Am sure the moment Totti and Buffon retires,they would be given a more deservedly role. But in Milan,we former Blues and Blacks as our CEO and sporting director! Maybe the Chinese aren’t that serious as they say.. Maldini is bigger than the Technical Director role.

SuMa
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SuMa

Totally Respect your views Paolo… Hope that new owners will clarify things on in depth project details and on new owners to have you part of the making of new history of Milan. Forza Paolo.. Forza Milan

Mathijs Savicevic
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Mathijs Savicevic

He is right, strategic plans have to be in line with everyone. If this is not the case, milan will have serious problems.

Paul
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Paul

You are wise,and i support your idea to hear form them (chinese) direct and to ensure us (fans) that the buy is to be real.

Vaidinho
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Vaidinho

I have even more respect for him than I had before (if it’s even possible). I really like and understand his approach. Being sure where are you getting in, especially knowing his feelings for this club. Whatever you deside, mister, I will respect that.

Abiola
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Abiola

Well said, Paolo deserved all he ask for. There has to be clarity before u take up a role. I don’t think this is to much to ask for. Beside it took him decades to build a legacy and he is ready to work with Milan once again provided the project is for the good of Milan.
The new owners should be ready to meet is demand going forward. The owners needs to understand what Paolo Maldini stands for: He his a man every Milan fan look up to, there is no better candidate than him.
Milan Till Eternity!!!

don de cagnoli
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don de cagnoli

plis mister buyer, just give anything that paolo demmands

EzraGy
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EzraGy

Saluto, Il Capitano. I cannot add to your words. Complete and and full of wisdom about this new ‘project’. Allow me add this small thought, sir. If Rolex Watch were to sell their company, it would be one thing picking the cash. It would however require a high degree of character and resolve to guarantee that the new buyers would safeguard the world-class history and tradition that the timepiece commands. Milan is no different. For Sino-Europe to come up with money and Berlusconi agreeing to sale is one thing. That is just the business side of things. But you, sir… Read more »

babayay
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babayay

I think this is the deciding moment to see if the buyers are truly serious with Milan. If they take Maldini on his request then it is on, we will be going places.

Paul
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Paul

One think i so much feel is that the reason galliani don’t give a clear view if he will work with chinese, may be he want to know if p maldini will join:so he can adjust because he is the reasons some of our legend anger and dos’t want return.

Maxwell
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Maxwell

Maldini is not given the kind of respect he deserved, honesyly i think a person who won 7 Series A titles and 5 European titles deserves more than a Technical Director. Wt all due respect Totti has not accumulated such at Roma and am sure he would be given a better post after his retirement.

BC
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BC

I differ with you guys. We are talking of big money here and as it stands Maldini doesnt have e required experience to take a much higher role. Another question I have is: Is this Fassone guy crazy enough to approach Maldini for a job offer 4 times without a clear job description? I doubt that, if so then he is the worst CEO but its very unlikely. I think Maldini is just being unreasonable here, being a technical director is the best start for anyone out there. Ryan Giggs spent more than 20 years and yet he was e… Read more »

BC
Guest
BC

I expected those thumpdowns. But you guys forget that even under Berlusconi he wasnt there and the Chinese try to do that and you guys are busy blaming them. Looks like anyone who goes against the club'[s adminstration is blamed. Under Berlusconi I dont think he cld have got any better position better than tt. He is a legend but he should know that each level in life requires you to start at a certain stage.

L96ai
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L96ai

This truly is a talk with some common sense. I wonder why you got a lot of negativity? I think you’re clear and It’s nice to see some different opinion. It’s like a logical thinker, weigh the pros and cons, and then decide. On this occasion, though, I would like to propose a new idea. I can understand why you think that Maldini may think he is bigger than Milan. However, please bear in mind that he is looking for a higher role in the Milan’s pecking order because he is currently an owner of a football club in NASL.… Read more »

babayay
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babayay

Why do you think Milan is in the position it is now? Because it is run without direction, and it is what Maldini has been questioning that is why he is on bad terms with Galliani. And what he wants is a position where he can make his own decisions not having to share decisions with someone because there is bound to be disagreement with what they are offering.

Eighteen99
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Eighteen99

Somehow, i agree with you. As much as i respect Maldini, i think he’s executing too much bargaining power on this one. If he loves the club, fans and the red & black jersey so much, he should humbly accept the role of the Technical director and work up his way from there. Besides Fassone looks like a man on a journey…don’t think he will remain the CEO for too long. So maybe one day he too could be CEO.

Princess Boatang
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Princess Boatang

All Maldini wants is if he makes a decision on something, that is whats going to happen. What is wrong with that? The man is smart and am sure has clear ideas and plans on how Milan should operate on the sporting side. The Maldini family is bigger than Berlusconi or anything else in Milan. If we as fans want to see the old Milan, where players were true gentlemen and hard working beasts, where the club was like a family, then we need Maldini the most. If we don’t really care about that then we don’t need him. We… Read more »

EzraGy
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EzraGy

I concur, mate. If he rushes like everybody is rushing, two things are certain: Failure and more confusion, the kind Balotelli was talking about. Maldini has stood out to challenge the new board on their promises, plan and strategy. If he does not, who will?

Mr mark
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Mr mark

Give p the chance
If not there is a clause ooooo.

Nas
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Nas

Paulo Maldini is without doubt the greatest asset Ac Milan could ever dream about having He’s family is forever intertwined in the very fabric of the clubs sole and as such he deserves to know everything which is in the new owners thoughts From my understanding of what he said is that he will pour his heart and sole into leading us to the top just like he did as a player and men like him don’t come along too often, if the new owners mess him about and just try and use his image like a poster boy then… Read more »

EzraGy
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EzraGy

His reputation and resume? Nobody doubts that. Picking his own job? Oh please!

Nas
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Nas

“Picking his own job” was a tounge in cheek comment
If you read the article its obvious he thinks only of Milan and its best interests
I for one would of picked up the phone to him from day one and made it clear I wanted him and asked which position he would feel best suits him and let him have he’s say and then discuss it with him

EzraGy
Guest
EzraGy

Hmmm? You would, would you? It’s that sort of presumption he’s trying to avoid. Having to get a job simply because he’s a legend. Before he takes the offer. We as well as him want to know there’s order and organisation, not clamoring for recognition and small conquests which may well be the case in this situation as it were. My guess is he’s wondering ‘I would not mind holding a lesser position. What are the responsibilities that each one has. What is the order of hierarchy? How are appointments, promotions, dismissals processed and what are they based on? How… Read more »

EzraGy
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EzraGy

2nd post invalid. Apologies.

Puang_Machink
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Puang_Machink

Ok…. Got the point.
Thats d legend talk. D legend that has shirt with legend number (that only his kid can use it)
If buyer couldn’t give what legend want, it will make sense, that they not seriously want to bring Milan to the top….

Milan10
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Milan10

Maldini knows exactly what he’s talking about, as always. But judging by his words its clear that maldini himself is aching to join milan’s new project out of his utmost love for his beloved milan and he’s only playing hard to get. I think his experiences with berlusconi right from the start really set his standard so high, thats why he demands clarity from the new owners so he can determine whether he can trust them as he did berlusconi or not. I admire his character, true bandiera-like but he has to understand not every owner has same approach as… Read more »

Name:charlie
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Name:charlie

The dude does not want to answer to mirabelli. He wants to have an autonomy on the signing of players. Now Fassone has to make a decision. He must either undermine Mirabelli who’s obviously his friend or choose to go forward without maldini. Both decisions have consequences but if I was him I’d undermine Mirabelli. If he goes forward without maldini and fails, he might very well lose his Job to maldini in 3 years. They need the fans back. Maldini brings that possibility. Obviously, he didn’t want maldini in a functional position initial because he’s threatened by maldini’s influence… Read more »

ACMilanSince 69
Member
ACMilanSince 69

There is no evidence that Maldini would be a good manager. He is only very good at managing his image, but that’s it. I would prefer Baresi or Rivera. If he loves Milan that much, salary should not be a barrier. I still remember him not retiring when he should have and his “I’m not one of you” statement to the fans. If he is that good, accept any job at Milan and rise to the top. Maybe he should go to Malta and help manage his son’s career. I’m don’t like Inter, but Zanetti is a model of good… Read more »

Name:charlie
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Name:charlie

Dude did you read the story??? He’s not asking for m ore money. He does not want to answer to Mirabelli.

Ink
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Ink

Notice what Honda said? Bet you are one of them.

Maz
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Maz

I am not Milanista but I do admire and respect the club for its achievements and the kudos it has given Calcio in past years. Paolo Maldini is, apart from being an icon and symbol of Milan, a man who puts the club above all else. His stance seems logical to me, he will commit his life to Milan but will only do this if everyone else is doing the same and the “project” recognises that Milan is a football club with huge historical importance to a global fanbase and not “just” a business venture for bored rich people. Over… Read more »

MOBO
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MOBO

@MAZ, may God bless u for me. even a non milanista thinks more reasonable than some so-called milanisti.

NigeriaMilan
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NigeriaMilan

Milan will be great again.Lets support the team.God will help us.

Maz
Guest
Maz

Just to highlight the very point Maldini was making here is part of statement issued by the board which I have just come across online: “SES is pleased to announce that, as of the date of closing, Massimiliano Mirabelli will join the management team of AC Milan, collaborating directly with the CEO and Director General Marco Fassone in dealing with the sporting area of the side”. How is that for clarity, as far as I was aware Mirabelli was being employed as Director of Sport but it doesn’t say that and sporting area of the side could mean anything really.… Read more »

Pelle80
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Pelle80

The legend has spoken!

Jibola
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Jibola

There are grey areas of this interview 1. He mentioned “Respect” Maldini knows Maldini and he finds it ridiculous to be bossed by Fassone and Mirabelli. 2. He mentioned ” “I’d be a technical director? Yes, but what does it mean? They’ve proposed a structure with Fassone as CEO, Mirabelli the director of sport and me the technical director. But the point is: what will I do? If me and Mirabelli manage the sporting part, what if we have a difference in views, then who decides? I can’t have a role in half with another person.” It’s rather obvious something… Read more »

Suracho
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Suracho

WHAT THE F ARE THESE CHINESE UPTO? First they appoint a former fkin interista and juventino, add a galliani lookalike on top of that ,Marco fasusaonae . Someone should tell these idiot owners of ours that even though all the chinese look the same, the same doesnt applies to football. You cannot just appoint somebody lookalike and hope that he will carry the legacy for you. This is utter stupid from mr. Hen lie. Second as i had forcasted yeaaars ago as I had forecast years ago this stupid businessman are using fake documents to are buying our milan .… Read more »

azad
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azad

He said NO!
It’s about to be official…

Rossonero 23
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Rossonero 23

Fassone… not satisfied, but ok.
Mirabelli… No way.

We could have Maldini, Albertini, Baresi in top management positions… Later even Boban and Van Basten…

Maz
Guest
Maz

Apparently now SES are considering not offering Maldini a position because they were unhappy with all the questions he asked. Please…was he just supposed to just accept the job without knowing any details. I actually think they wanted Maldini on board as a mouthpiece. Who better to deliver news to the fans good or bad but someone who is trusted and respected. If Maldini was delivering bad news but saying it was in Milans’ best interest the fans would be more likely to accept it rather than if it was to come as a statement from China. Paolo was right… Read more »