Mercato boom, commercial boom and stadium boom [Bonus article]
We are in the middle of July and AC Milan have already completed five signings, including Tijjani Reijnders who will be announced this week. Compared to last summer, it’s day and night, not to mention the fact that the Rossoneri are also experiencing a commercial and stadium boom.
We can discuss endlessly whether RedBird are the right owners for Milan, given the club’s history and status in club football. Financially speaking, or even in terms of sustainability, it’s clear that Gerry Cardinale and Co. are perfect for the job. Okay, maybe we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves as there have rightfully been some concerns since the takeover.
Elliott Management were the true saviours of Milan, it cannot be understated, resurrecting the club from bankruptcy before hiring competent people (such as Gazidis and Maldini). And fans who have criticised them in the past for not investing money can be silenced quite easily. After all, they wiped the club’s debt and also spent a combined €73m on the likes of Lucas Paqueta and Krzysztof Piatek. Two examples to forget, but that’s not the point of the argument. They brought stability.
And thus when Elliott decided to pass the baton to RedBird, there were indeed some doubts about the future of Milan. As is always the case when a change of ownership occurs, especially if you have just reached a point of stability. The rumours about Investcorp and their willingness to recklessly spend on the mercato didn’t help either, which we have taken a closer look at in a recent bonus.
Less than one year since the takeover, though, the path of RedBird is now clear and for the fans, there may be conflicting emotions. But there is at least one silver lining: Milan will survive financially and could become pioneers in sustainable football - and there’s no doubt that football needs to be more sustainable moving forward.
The days of reckless spending are not over, though. In fact, we might even be heading for a new era of just that given the addition of ‘Saudi money’. But European football cannot survive in this manner and many clubs have already successfully made the switch to a more sustainable way of operating. Milan, with that in mind, are only pioneers in the sense that they are one of the first big clubs to make the switch.
Let’s not get bogged down in motivations and justifications, though, but rather focus on what actually has been achieved by RedBird. The title outlined the main bits that we will take a look at in this bonus article, namely the commercial success as of late, the great strides on the mercato and the new stadium.
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