Tuesday, April 15, 2014

When the Hunter Becomes the Hunted

For 28 years, Galliani has been revered as the CEO of AC Milan, and feared by his peers as some kind of Evil Genius when it comes to the mercato. In fact, here on the blog, he has his own holiday on the last day of every mercato to celebrate such genius. But as Milan’s situation has deteriorated, so has his reputation. Not coincidentally, because as CEO, he has made many of the decisions that caused the demise. So I found it completely ironic to hear yesterday that the transfer maestro himself was the object of transfer speculation himself. The hunter has become the hunted.

Hero or villain?

I speak, of course, of Marcello Lippi’s comments about welcoming Galliani at Guangzhou Evergrande. The man who brought in so many legends to put Milan on the map, built the team of trophies, and who can negotiate with the biggest clubs without even having an appointment is now considered “perfect” for a club in China which boasts three Brazilians and former midtable Serie A great Alessandro Diamanti.

The fact that Galliani’s duties and title were halved this year after a lot of questions were raised at the club and he actually stepped down for less than 24 hours shows that there is less faith in him than there was before. One only need to mention the name “Matri” for even the most devout fans to question whether or not he’s lost his touch. Or his ongoing feud with one legendary Paolo Maldini which has seen the latter blocked from being involved with the club. For those well-versed in the Calciopoli scandal, they’ll tell you that it was his actions exclusively that could have seen us relegated, but eventually only cost us 15 points that season.

My how the mighty have fallen

So much has been written about him and his fall from grace at Milan, but the quotes from Lippi say it all: The hunter has become the hunted. Instead of coyly denying transfer rumors in the media, he has become a transfer rumor himself. Now the question is, how much longer before he is poached on a free transfer?

This post inspired by the music of James Bond Theme music

Our next match is
Milan vs. Livorno
Saturday, April 19 • 15:00 CEST (9am EDT)