Ivan Gazidis has given a lengthy interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport, speaking of the rumours rift between him and Boban-Maldini.
The name of Ralf Rangnick has appeared in the newspapers a lot in recent weeks in relations to Milan, as there are rumours that Ivan Gazidis would like to see the German replacing Stefano Pioli next year, while Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban believe that Rangnick is not the right man.
il Corriere della Sera even suggested last night that there are two Milans: the one with the vision of Gazidis, and the other with the vision of Maldini and Zvone.
The Rossoneri CEO however, decided to grant an interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Andrea Di Caro to put to rest the rumours of a separation at the Diavolo management.
“I know, I don’t speak often. I prefer to do it only when necessary and not on the basis of a victory or a defeat.”
Let’s go straight to the point: is it true that there are two souls at Milan?
“It’s not true, it’s not true, it’s not true [he repeated it three times]. There is only one common vision: to have a modern Milan, who compete at the top of Italian and European football, who play in the future in the biggest stadium in the world, with a clear footballing philosophy to achieve success on the pitch.”
The objective is the same, ways and times to get there can be different…
“Milan is one of the biggest football clubs, but everyone knows that the past years have been difficult. The losses have been enormous. Since Elliott took over, we are one of the clubs that has invested the most in the world. But beware: there is the Financial Fair Play which, especially in these days, we are seeing is a serious matter. The boundaries within which to act are clear. Our objective on the sporting side is to make the team grow, but with a budget in line with the FFP. We never want to be excluded from the European competitions again. The challenges we face to get back to the top are manifold, we know we have to go one step at a time, even with inevitable mistakes along the way. No dream is impossible. But all dreams require commitment, effort and patience to be realized.”
Fans fear that Milan is just a business for the Elliott Fund…
“I know – our ownership knows – that a football club is not a financial enterprise, but a social, cultural, public institution and is ultimately owned by its fans. Milan is of the Milanisti. The best business we can do is to create a club at the top again. We don’t buy players to sell them, if we ever give up on someone it will be to invest in others: footballing choices. Elliott has no intention of taking value away from the club, it has a medium to long-term plan. We will do everything necessary to bring Milan back to be amongst the top clubs in the world. The day a new ownership appears, it will have a very solid foundation, because it will buy a top club in all of its sectors.”
A recurring phrase of the fans is: love Milan, respect its history…
“I know Milan’s history, I don’t need to learn it. I have enormous respect for their history. And everyone in the club is working to get Milan back where they belong. The Rossoneri fans are extraordinary, passionate and unique. They are not stupid. They ask for clarity on what we are doing, how and why. And I speak clearly with the people of Milan. And I’m convinced that by sharing a virtuous path and their support, we can achieve everything and maybe sooner than expected. The journey is not easy, but the destination is certain. Well get there. It’s not an individual journey: it’s not about me, Boban, Maldini or anyone else who works for this club. We come and go. It’s Milan who is above all others. But it takes time.”
Italian football, however, is the most impatient in the world…
“It’s true, everything changes here in a week based on a win or a defeat. And this does not help the system grow. The temptation is often to make short-term decisions, to bite off more than one can chew. That’s normal. Anyone who experiences the club with passion has this temptation. I am no exception. After a defeat I don’t sleep. After a victory I have 5 minutes of relief, maybe… this is how I experience this club, this is how Paolo Maldini experiences it, this is how Zvone Boban experiences it and this is how everyone experiences it, including our fans. But the danger of making decisions based on this, leads you to lose sight of where you want to go and after 2-3 years you risk paying a dramatic price for it.”
Let’s try to summarize the Milan Project in four points. Let’s start with the squad…
“It must be a good mix between talented young players and experienced players who are still hungry for success, with a winning mentality and who know how to lead the group.”
“Zlatan has had a huge impact, from a technical, personality and leadership points of view. We never reject the idea of experienced and ready-made high-level players. But we also focus on who can become one with the Milan shirt. Isn’t Theo Hernández a top player today? Isn’t Bennacer a potential top player? There is a ‘team’ of people trying to find the right balance, the players who will allow the winning mix.”
We are at the second point: the ‘team’. How is the relationship with Boban and Maldini?
“A top-level ‘team’ is essential to obtain results and we have it. We talk to Zvone and Paolo every day. Tomorrow [Today] we are in Firenze. We come back together, happy or sad, after every game. Everything we do is together. We all want the same thing. I believe that the decisions that are made through debate, discussion and different points of view are the best. Let’s not confuse a comparison of thoughts with a collision. The debate over who is in charge does not matter to me. Who is in charge? Who is the King? Nobody. The King is what we all work for. The King is Milan.”
Third point: the stadium…
“We must have our own modern facility. I love San Siro, it is a part of my football mythology, and so I understand and respect the affection for the history of this magnificent history. But I also have respect for the growth and development of Milan and its next generation of fans. A new stadium is essential for a great Milan. If we manage to do it in the San Siro area, it will have, in addition to commercial activities, a green area where all sporting activates can be done. It will be another step forward in the development of this city that looks to the future. But it will also help Italian football.”
Fourth point, your ‘must’: the modernization of the club…
“This is a necessary step. We must develop our digital and communication abilities with our global fans as well as with our local fan base. Increasing our business proposition to generate greater revenues. It is a virtuous circle that Milan must resume: successful football generates revenues, revenues allow success in football. It’s not an immediate process. I wish I could snap my fingers, but we have to face reality. But we have taken the right path and I’m starting to see some green buds…”
Gazidis tell the truth: have you ever contacted Rangnick?
“I have been in football for 26 years, interacting with hundreds of different people including at least 20 coaches all over the world. That’s normal. But nobody now at Milan is thinking about a new coach. Pioli arrived in a difficult situation, he’s behaved personally and professionally in an exemplary way. His work has been of the highest level and now we are starting to see this team grow and develop. Being the coach of Milan is an objective for many great coaches. But Pioli remains in pole position also for the future: the season is still open, it’s too early to talk about that now.”
But what do you like about Rangnick’s footballing philosophy?
“I never speak of members of other clubs, football players, coaches, directors… it would not be right and correct to do so.”
Is there a European team that you would like Milan to look like in the next few years?
“Milan have their past history and they will have their future history without imitating anyone. But Liverpool spent 9 years in a situation similar to that of Milan, crushed by costs, they tried to make headway and succeeded. With right and often difficult choices. When Klopp arrived he said he would make the skeptics believe; nobody trusted him at first, not even the fans, but then, in small steps… today we see what Liverpool is. You will soon see what Milan will be like.”
Yeah sure, now when team performs you brag with signing Ibra but it was never the plan was it? I still say this team is poorly constructed. Who are these Duartes, Salesmaker or whatever he is or even Kjaer and Leao. We’ve seen some glimpses from the kid but nothing special imo.
Elliott own Lille and the french club needed to raise some funds, therefore Elliott sanctioned the transfer of Leao to Milan. It’s just a game of chess for Elliot’s accounts.
Now I’m more skeptical about the kid.
I don’t think Elliott owns Lille anymore.
They do and it is their intention to keep Lille as their club while Milan is only an investment they want to increase the value of and cash in on it when the time is right. The president of Lille said it himself in an interview some time ago
“For one year, Gerard Lopez and his team are studying the French Ligue 1 championship for an acquisition. In October 2016, Lopez entered into exclusive talks with President Michel Seydoux for the acquisition of the Lille OSC football club He eventually succeeded and become the majority owner of the French Ligue 1 club.”
Ted, when considered as a purely financial project, there’s no comparison between Lille and Milan. Milan even today is one of top 20 clubs in the world in terms of net worth, and owning a stadium is going to increase that substantially. The way I see it, Elliot have Juve in mind as an example model, and the potential in Milan is even bigger (there’s no comparison between torino and milano in any financial scale). They got the club for relatively cheap, especially considering all the cash that Li put in the club, and if they play their cards right… Read more »
Where did I compare Milan and Lille? I only stated Elliott own Lille and manage as their club while Milan will be sold once cleared of debts and value is increased
If anything they will get rid of Lille, much before Milan. Lille is used to pump up Milan, and not the other way around. Same way RB zalzburg and RB leipzig if you will
As a business man he is probably lying. What’s really important is that all the power does not laid in one man.
Maldini sent Cutrone away
Boban bashed Rino’s Milan when he wasnt at the job and surely he was the first one to say Rinout! Giampaolo in.
And if it where for Gazidi,s Donarumma and Romagonli would be sold.
There must be balance, so there is some order in this mess.
Cutrone Cutrone Cutrone Cutrone milan doesn’t deserve these chicken funs Cutrone is garbage we are lucky to get over 20m
It’s too much to say about Cutrone that he is garbage ! In a team like Milan you need also players like Cutrone, who was a good striker, very combative, a good fighter and a good scorer, better than Pippo at 19-20 years old ! We need a striker like Cutrone in the team ! He didn’t want to leave !
I puked a little
I don’t believe a word from Gazidis. There was some issue with Gazidis who didn’t want to sign Ibra. It was Maldini and Boban who forced the issue. The reason Gazidis wants Ralf Rangnick is logical. Rangnick is a complete coach, a concept that CEO Ivan Gazidis would like to bring to Milan to revolutionise everything: starting with Milanello. It is the training facility that is the starting point of Rangnick, who built a real modern training headquarters in Leipzig, where each player is tested daily in a an almost manic way to secure improvement day by day. Ask Timo… Read more »
Doing a decent job in Bundesliga doesn’t mean you’d excel in Serie A. On the contrary is the more likely scenario here. Just look at Calhanoglu & Rodriguez if you don’t believe me. 😀
Serie A is all about the tactics. Is Rangnick good enough in that field? Does he know how Italian football works? Time will tell. Or not. Hopefully not.
Go back to Arse Nal and destroying them from within.
Yeah yeah, Arse Nal is a huge team with lots of money and beat Rino’s Milan bla bla bla bla, they are still shit with almost nothing of note in achievement except for some FAlol cups.
Don’t turn Milan into Arse Nal. Milan does not need to turn into any other club. Milan just need to become Milan again.
When he says medium to long term plan for Milan you read short term plan to sell the club. Lying out of his teeth.
Oh I pray they will sell them soon! Sooner the better. To get things in order. And to get rid of Gazidis before the summer. That would be ideal but not going to happen. I bet if Elliott finally sells Milan, it will be right after the summer transfer window has closed and Milan has already sold Donnarumma (for 30M€), Romagnoli & Hernandez.