The Berlusconi Chronicles

After Berlusconi’s preposterous sacking of Mihajlovic with only six league games and a Coppa final left, people have talked a lot about his failings as a club president. But mostly, they only cite recent events and recent quotes, as if this is something new that no one saw coming. However for those of us who have passionately followed the club for longer, there was plenty of evidence along the way to know that failure at this level was not only coming, but imminent.

"Another article about me?! Just what I always wanted!"

I have long said that the failings of both Berlusconi and Galliani go back all the way to the beginning, when they created an unsustainable business model. But at least back then, Berlusconi could be bothered to actually come to the games, and to actually watch them. If you look closer, though, he made decisions that were poor, even at the height of Milan’s glory, like firing Sacchi because van Basten didn’t get along with him. And while it may have worked out for the club, van Basten’s playing days were numbered by injuries. It was certainly not a smart move, but he got lucky with Capello. However, his luck would run out the more poor decisions he made. Like decisions to buy big players past their prime and pay them wages that were way too high. Or to sell great players because they couldn’t otherwise balance the books, having bought players past their prime and paid them too high of wages. (You’ll see that paying players too high of wages is a running theme in the gradual destruction of Milan.)

"I have graced them with my presence once again!"

Needless to say, the writing was on the wall. And as horribly delusional that he clearly is now, running around and telling anyone who will listen that Milan played horribly under Mihajlovic, and that they are playing “better” now under Brocchi, he’s always had delusions. But I think this past four years especially has gradually pulled the veil from the eyes of everyone, from his most fervent supporters to the general public. From the courtship of Mr. Bee’s non-existent money to him finally admitting he’s willing to sell a majority, it seems that he might be finally being forced to get in touch with some reality. Well, except when he talks about the football he’s not even been to stadium to see, or holding out for an Italian owner. How long has Italy’s financial crisis lasted, and he doesn’t even get that there isn’t big money anymore in Italy?

"She totally wants me. I wonder how old she is?"

So today I decided to gather a bunch of the pieces that have been chronicled here over the last five years regarding Berlusconi, how his personal life has impacted the club, his financial decisions, his meddling with the coaching, press conferences, nepotism, and more. If you choose to read one of them or all of them, you’ll see that the writing was truly on the wall all along.

November 14, 2011 • The Two Faces of Berlusconi
Written after Berlusconi resigned as Prime Minister and ahead of his myriad legal battles, it discusses his history in his personal life as well as his history with Milan. (Be sure to read the comments on this one, and compare them to the comments people are making about him now.)

July 12, 2012 • Who’s Afraid of PSG?
Ahead of the sale of Thiago Silva and Ibra, a picture was painted of why and how Berlusconi might have to go through with the sale, specifically regarding the Fininvest fine.

July 16, 2012 • Riddle Me This
Questioning management’s “plan” for rebuilding  in the wake of the loss of the Senatori, etc., including looking at the wage bill, balancing the books, quality players, and more.

August 1, 2012 • The Berlusconi Files
Berlusconi’s comments on the Milan Channel were put to the test to see if he was being honest or not following the sale of Ibra and Thiago Silva.

January 15, 2013 • The House that Berlusconi Built
Discussing the “rebuilding” or lack thereof after the mass exodus of quality players the previous summer, and Berlusconi’s role in it.

Exploring the impact on the club of Silvio’s criminal actions, countless legal fees, and other personal issues which prevent him from investing in the club literally or even emotionally.

August 30, 2013 • Duplicity
Agrowing contempt for all of the lies and deception from management and the blatant disregard for the fans.

March 31, 2014 • The View From The Top
A recap of events up until that point that showed why we were there and how we got there, as well as a bleak forecast for the future.

April 28, 2014 • Blasphemous Rumors
Ahead of Seedorf’s sacking, discussing the rumors of his demise along with other poor decisions management had made, eerily similar to the sacking of another coach this season (although at least then, they waited until the end of the season.)

May 13, 2014 • Poor Little Rich Boy
Silvio running his mouth in the media again, trying to get Milan fans to feel sorry for him. Only it had the complete opposite effect. His blatant disregard for the fans has always been prevalent.

May 31, 2014 • FFP: Financial Faux Pas
Amidst a discussion of how Milan fits into FFP are overlooked points about Milan’s poor management and Berlusconi’s lack of interest/investment at Milan.

June 6, 2014 • Papa Don’t Preach
A look at Berlusconi’s absence in all things Milan, even at the opening of his daughter’s claim to fame, Casa Milan.

April 23, 2015 • Waiting For a Miracle
Discussing why the damage Berlusconi has done may prove costly even with new ownership, and what it might take to rebuild.

May 19, 2015 • Playing Hard to Get
People thought the deal with Mr. Bee was as good as gold, then all of a sudden, Berlusconi started talking nonsense to the media, like he was having second thoughts. Sound familiar?

Comparing our then current squad and situation with Sacchi’s teams and how Berlusconi was able to build a winning side so quickly then, but no one would be able to repeat that feat today.

November 9, 2015 • Do You Still Beelieve?
While still waiting for the Mr. Bee deal to happen, Berlusconi dropped €90-150m in the transfer market, let Barbara plan for a stadium, then whisked it away like a bully with a toy. Very suspicious behavior, indeed.

December 30, 2015 • Watch it Burn
How Berlusconi’s spending was like burning money, and how his patterns led to the general burning of everything Milan.

February 9, 2016 • The El Shaarawy Catastrophe
While this one lands more squarely on the shoulders of Galliani, it does beg the question of whether or not Milan management sabotaged Milan this year. First, giving El Shaarawy to a team who were just above us on the table, then later sacking Mihajlovic.

A question raised whose answer is the opposite of Berlusconi’s current selfish and myopic sound bites, with answers which flat out prove him wrong.

The reaction to Mihajlovic’ sudden and inexplicable sacking, and how it set the club’s clock back to Year Zero again.

"I care deeply about Milan fans"

Well, there’s the top twenty posts about Berlusconi’s failings, written over the past five years. Even with all of that knowledge, I think most fans had a hard time seeing things get this bad at this point. Not just clinging to optimism for the love of the shirt, but rather just having some common sense. It makes no sense whatsoever that anyone would let their club fall so hard and so badly, but Berlusconi has clearly had no problems whatsoever. And if there’s anything you learn from having read any or all of the above posts again, it’s that there’s still room for Berlusconi to drag the club down farther. Even if he does not have the ability to learn at all, we as fans should be responsible and follow the learning curve of what we know about our megalomaniac club President. Hip hip hoora.

This post inspired by Muse’s “Megalomania”

Our next match is
Milan vs. Roma
Saturday, May 14 • 20:45 CEST 2:45pm EDT

The Berlusconi Chronicles The Berlusconi Chronicles Reviewed by Elaine on 2:08 AM Rating: 5
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