After years of financial mismanagement and dodgy dealings behind the scenes, this former European powerhouse has understandably fallen by the way side in recent years. Dressing room reshuffles coupled with terrible business deals have caused the Milan club to slide to as low as eighth place in the Italy’s Serie A, as well as not making an appearance in Europe’s top club competition since 2014.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) July 20, 2017
However, new ownership has breathed new life into the Rossoneri, and has brought with it a liberal attitude to spending in the transfer market. With 10 new signings including big names like Leonardo Bonnucci and Hakan Çalhano?lu, perhaps we are seeing the rebirth of one of Europe’s most renowned sleeping giants…
2007 saw the Rossoneri bag their 7th European title, and with only Real Madrid ahead of them in this respect, the Milan side unquestionably have a great deal of European pedigree that remains unmatched by many top sides around Europe. However, after 2007, massive debt coupled with a decision to bring in fresh blood would see the tip of an enormous iceberg, that would inevitably send the club into free fall both financially and on the pitch.
Star players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovi? and Thiago Silva were sold on, and were replaced with a whole host of cheap and free transfers which would consequently leave the club in dire straits. Nevertheless, hope would come in the form of a new Chinese consortium who would purchase the club in April 2017, ending the 31-year reign of chairman Silvio Berlusconi.
At first the group seemed shrouded in mystery, failing to be upfront with finances which heavily suggested a lack of credibility on their part. On the other hand, however, Milan’s financial desperation and their desire to keep up with their counterparts would mean that the deal would go through, making ‘Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux’ the new direct parent company of the Milan outfit, owning a staggering 99.93% of the club.
Since the takeover the club has not chosen to waste any time, bringing in an incredible 10 new signings since the start of the summer transfer window. These include the prolific goal scorer Franck Kessie from Atalanta, Villarreal central defender Mateo Mussacchio, free kick expert Hakan Çalhano?lu from Leverkusen and most notably Leonardo Bonnucci from Italian champions Juventus. With this flood of new signings in such a short space of time the Milan outfit quite literally mean business, and with the help of their rich owners from the far east who is to say that the spending will stop here?
Poor financial clout and chaotic business have proven to be a hallmark for AC Milan over recent years, but new owners bring with it new financial muscle which is seeing the club rebuild its reputation brick by brick. With qualification into the Champions league and possibly a Scudetto challenge re-entering the discussion, perhaps we are seeing a second Italian renaissance on the horizon.
Tito Domenico Simonelli
Article image courtesy of ‘Nobbiwan’ via Flickr.
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