It’s happened before. They’ve lied to us, sold players after they promised they wouldn’t. Bought players when they said they wouldn’t. But this time is different. This time they fed us stories about a plan. About Financial Fair Play (FFP). About believing in youth. About buying only players age 23 years or younger. About promoting players from the youth sector to the first team. About a smaller squad size. And about sustainability. Buy season tickets, they said. Support the club unquestioningly. Buy jerseys and line the pockets of those who betray you. Trust, they said. Oddly enough, when someone tells you to trust, they are probably lying. Milan management are lying. Again. Duplicity.

"Oh! That's what you meant when you said commitment to youth. I thought it was the girls."

Last year, they sold Thiago Silva and Ibra after they said they wouldn’t. And they didn’t reinvest the monies, either. This, after the mass exodus of the Senatori. I didn’t believe then that they had a plan. They betrayed the hearts of the fans who buy the tickets and jerseys, who sing and cheer for their team week in and week out. And then they wondered why we didn’t want to buy season tickets. The coach they continued to support gave the team the worst start in over 70 years. But still they stood by him, while openly criticizing him. If that’s not duplicity, I don’t even know what is.

But slowly I began to see that all of it might work out. As reports of the lowered wage bill came out, the players began to show their worth. As our fortunes started to change on the pitch, signs of financial health came to life, too. Then they dropped €20m in the January mercato on Balotelli. I was nervous, but also excited. And the jersey and ticket sales skyrocketed immediately. Despite being nervous about a slight variation in the plan, of buying a star instead of making one, I could see the wisdom. Also, they had said they might buy one star per year, so it wasn’t a lie. But then came Zaccardo.

"This means I need a new striker. Matri, to be exact. Cost is no object. Now go."

Zaccardo was 31 years old, not young, also not quality, and he got a 3.5 year contract deal. It has since been rumored to have been the same as his contract at Parma, but still. This was a huge variance in the plan. Still, I tried to believe. And after stealing 3rd place against all odds and also seeing the wise moves made in the summer mercato before it even opened. I became a believer. Bringing in Saponara and Poli, promoting Petagna and Cristante, buying out the contracts of Zapata and Constant… it all seemed prudent, and fit “the plan” they had been cramming down our throats all season. And then, to convince us more, they released the first ever sustainability report, outlining current financial affairs and future plans to keep Milan sustainable.

But then the injuries came. And apparently that was all that it took to stray from the plan. In came Silvestre on loan. Not young, not quality, but at least only a 1 year loan deal. But then Gabriel’s injury turned serious. So instead of calling up a Primavera keeper, or recalling on of our young keepers on loan or even buying a keeper that could fill the gap between the 20 year-old Gabriel, the 31 year-old Amelia, and the 36 year-old Abbiati, they went to a 35 year-old out of contract player who had been on Milan’s roster before, but never played, rather played in Serie B most of his Milan career. Something was definitely suspicious. Now we were signing older players and our squad size was increasing.

"Yeah, Galliani makes me look angelic. How is it that I'm the one banned from football?"

While many anxiously awaited big signings and reinforcements, I saw the prudence in waiting for deals, or maybe even proceeding with the reinforcements we started the summer with. But these new rumors… they didn’t fit any plan I’d heard of. Instead of reinforcing in the midfield and defense, it was said that Allegri was asking for another center striker. Because now all of a sudden, the date of Pazzini’s return from injury was unknown. So despite Galliani having insisted at the beginning of the summer that Petagna would be promoted to cover for Pazzini and we would not buy another striker, the rumors flared like fire doused in gasoline. And now here we are, with the 29 year-old Matri taking his medicals today, with Milan spending about €11m to bring him in. A player to sit on the bench for 4 years, making €2.6m/year. And just like that, Petagna was also loaned out.

The Curva spoke - reinforce midfield & defense, no thanks, Matri - but they didn't listen

What was that again about believing in youth? Reducing squad size? Only buying players 23 years old or younger? Or maybe one champion per year? One year contracts for those over 30? This deal has betrayed the hearts of Milanisti worldwide. And put a damper on the celebrations of a Champions League Group Stage berth that just one year ago seemed impossible. So many of us believed there was a plan, and that maybe this time they would stick to it. But they changed the rules, did the opposite of everything they’ve been preaching. Duplicity.

To Berlusconi, everyone is young.

As a fan who spent thousands of dollars to go to the San Siro and see just one game, I am insulted. A fan who buys authentic Milan merchandise and supports the club with heart and soul, I feel so betrayed. As a mom who defied the odds and is successfully raising two Milanisti children, what do I tell them? How do I explain that the beautiful game, the team that wears the colors of our hearts, the source of so much joy for us… how do I explain to them that this same club is run by greedy, backstabbing liars, who have publicly chastised us for expecting a little transparency or even respect? We spend our hard earned money to support the club. Without fans, could the management stay in business? No. Yet there is no transparency, no respect. Only duplicity.

I don’t have any answers. All I know is that the heart that pumps the red and black blood through my veins hurts more than words can say. My faith in the management of my club is completely gone, and I don’t know how I will go on. Betrayed. Lied to. Disrespected. It’s a good thing that the very heart that hurts will never stop beating for the colors of the shirt. That I love the game too much to give up on our warriors on the pitch. I may be forever disillusioned when it comes to the management of the club because of a duplicity which defies humanity, but I will always believe in Milan, come what may.

This post inspired by the music of Nirvana’s “Rape Me”

Our next match is
Milan vs. Cagliari
Sunday, September 2 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)

Duplicity Duplicity Reviewed by Elaine on 1:15 AM Rating: 5
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