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It’s the End of the World As We Know It

The saying that we Milan fans bleed red and black wasn’t an open invitation for our management to rip out our beating hearts and stab us in the back just to see if our blood truly is red and black. But looking around at the ocean of red and black blood drained from our many tormented bodies tells me they at least proved their point. Luckily, despite the atrocities, we will all live to see another Milan game.



As of this writing, we are still waiting for what seems to be the inevitable. But even if it falls through, we are still betrayed as fans. So many people revere Silvio Berlusconi for “all he has done for the club.” I have always been grateful, but never trusted, and this summer has shown I was right not to trust. Especially the way that he flippantly told reporters how much he saved the club in the same breath as saying he’d sold our two best players. Udinese’s management have never served as Prime Minister, but they sure seem to know how to balance a budget on so much less than Milan has. Imagine what they would have won if they did have as much as Milan have? Berlusconi has spent unwisely on overpriced strikers, Galliani has engaged in penny wise and dollar foolish deals, and we’ve carried a giant wage bill for too long. Add to that the Fininvest fine and Berlusconi’s other legal fees, and it was bound to catch up to us. But it doesn’t make the pill any easier to swallow.

Since clearly, Berlusconi’s only loyalty is to himself, it’s amazing we held it together for so long. And speaking of loyalties, I really don’t think it is a shock to anyone that Ibra would move on. As the Mary Poppins of Football™, we only had one more year at best. If only we could have had that one more year. He is kind of like all the guys I used to date – totally awesome, but guaranteed to break my heart sooner or later. God bless him for holding out for more money, it’s less money PSG have to spend on other Serie A players.

Loyalty used to be priceless, now, it apparently costs €7,5m per season

However the loyalty that people are trying to justify instead of come to terms with is that of Thiago Silva. He honored the Milan badge and said he wanted to be the next captain, he said he didn’t want to leave Milan both before and after the other PSG scare (but suspiciously not during, when it is reported he had already agreed to terms with PSG.) And then he’s the first one on board in this horrible deal? Sure, you could try to say that he was told to sacrifice himself for the good of the club. But then why didn’t they just sacrifice him alone the first time around and get it over with? To receive what is reportedly such a low amount for the two of them is a crime. Yet again, Milan screwed this one up.

But the reality is that if he goes to PSG, he is reportedly set to make €7,5 m, whereas he only made €4m before this all started. And after Milan said they were keeping him, he asked for a raise to make the same amount, even knowing the financial situation of the club. And we all know that they reached an agreement of a contract extension and €6m from that dialogue. So I cannot believe that he was really wanting to be the next Maldini or Baresi when he has followed the money all the way through. Remember when Maldini took a 50% pay cut in 2007 after winning the CL? And previously offered a 30% cut in 2004? That’s loyalty, Thiago. That’s the kind of thing that it takes to be the next Maldini, the next captain. In fact, our own captain, Ambrosini, only makes €1,5m. Your club had agreed to pay you four times that and you have still agreed to leave.

THIS is loyalty. THIS is a captain. 

I will give him that Milan’s loyalty to him was questionable, but Maldini saw the sale of Sheva and Kaka and still not only stayed, but also took the pay cut. We are missing that character from top to bottom now, since all of the Senatori left. And we are also missing quality. The last time we had a big exodus, the club bought the likes of Gattuso, Inzaghi, Pirlo, and Nesta, all of whom had performed better at that point than any of our signings so far, so we can’t realistically expect to be that Milan. Because we are also missing the funds to pull off something like that. It’s the end of the world as we know it. But it’s not the end of the world.

I do not have half of the optimism that many of you have. (But God bless you, we need your faith!) I started out the summer worried about our mercato, and the worst case scenario seems to be happening. But my heart tells me that I will still be here, worshiping what seem to be mostly mere mortals now instead of the gods and demigods we are used to worshiping on the pitch. It will be painful, it will not be easy, but what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, right? And now we will truly appreciate every goal, every victory, and every player who exceeds our expectations.

If this is our future captain, so be it.
(at least we can be sure PSG are not going to steal him)

I confess that in my life, I have unfortunately become too well acquainted with physical pain, and now, in my footballing fan life, I will suffer even more of a different pain. It truly is as if they reached inside me and ripped out my beating heart. But they underestimated both me and my heart. I will just grab it back, shove it back in there, and it will keep beating, keep bleeding red and black. They can take the world class players out of Milan, but they can’t take the Milan out of me, and I am prepared to suffer whatever pains are ahead and support our boys with all of my heart, whoever they may be. It may be the end of the world as we know it, but it’s not the end of my permanent love affair with these colors. They are coursing through my veins and even staining my tears. No betrayal, no financial or other problems can change that. Forza Milan!


This post inspired by the music of R.E.M.