Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cagliari 2, Milan 1: Out Like a Lamb

After a season of surprising ups mixed with expected downs, and even with securing Europa League qualifying last week, it wasn’t much of a surprise that Milan checked out of this match. A big part of it was injuries, but mentality has been weak for some time, and with nothing to play for, it’s no wonder they didn’t play very hard. I’m not sure you could quite say that Milan came into this season like a lion, but it’s easy to say they went out like a lamb.

Thank you, Captain Ninja, for 3.5 years of dedication to Milan

Friday, May 26, 2017

Cagliari-Milan Preview: Last Call

Sunday’s match is the final match of the season, and for some of our players, their final match for Milan. Only time will tell who is leaving or even how many are leaving, but there are 90 minutes left in this strange and slightly healing season. It’s hard to know if people will even watch, with the game having been moved back and forth so many times in the schedule, and with so many fans having stopped watching anyway. It feels more like it’s approaching closing time at the local pub than a sporting event. More like a familiar voice saying “last call.”

We know it's Honda's last match, but who else?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Return to Glory

Sunday’s win over Bologna cemented our sixth place finish, putting us into the Europa League qualifying stages this summer. But that may actually hurt our return to glory more than help it because our squad is so very thin. However, Sunday’s match did have a massive return to glory: our new home kit for next season.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Milan 3, Bologna 0: New Kit Smell

We’ve seen this before, when wearing a great-looking new kit gave us a win. Looking good just gives you confidence. And what an opportune time to come up with a win. But add to it Montella’s 100th win as a coach, Honda being given a token of faith and coming up big, as well as a much anticipated debut for the young Cutrone, and it turned out to be something worth watching. Oh, and there’s that little Europa League qualification spot, too, if you’re into that sort of thing. But this win definitely had that new kit smell.

For better or for worse, we achieved our goal

Milan vs. Bologna: The Price of Europe

Will Milan sacrifice the lunchmeat to get Europe?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Milan-Bologna Preview: The Emperor’s New Clothes

Milan have had a slump in form since the takeover. But we have miraculously gotten enough draws to stay in sixth place on the table. Most Milan fans are kind of over this season anyway, though. Bologna are mathematically safe from relegation but not in the same continent as a European spot, so there might not be a lot of interest in this game. Except for one thing: the new kits. Response has been very positive toward the new first kit so far, so perhaps people will tune in for that. But will the new kits inspire a win? Or will they be like the Emperor’s New Clothes?

Only those who are worthy can wear this kit

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Poll: Rate the Season

With two games left, some fans have already moved on into full fantamercato mode, they don’t even care about the final results. Others are drawn to the potential mercato this season, but watching carefully to see where we finish. Still others are just so happy that we performed better than expected with no mercato to speak of for over a year now. And everything in between. So I wanted to take a little poll today to see where my readers rate the season:

A season to smile about? Or just laughing instead of crying?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Schadenfreude By the Numbers

It is no secret that I hate Inter with a passion. I even wrote about how Karmalicious this season was back in November. I have long said that it is ridiculous how much they spent on their players compared with how much we spent on ours. And for us to be above them on the table, even if by only two spots… it’s a miracle. An exquisitely delightful miracle at that. And while I’ve long said that it was true, I finally sat down to get the actual numbers to prove it, and those numbers surprised even me. Call it a little schadenfreude by the numbers.

The Curva Nord told their players they weren't worthy and then went to lunch. Delicious.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Atalanta 1, Milan 1: Strangeways Here We Come

The outcome of this match has little impact on me. A win, a draw, or a loss didn’t matter as much to me as how we played. See, I am not on the Europe bandwagon. Both for Financial Fair Play implications as well as playing in three competitions without any depth reasons, I don’t think it’s right for us right now. But the formation Montella chose and how he lined everyone up for this match was completely baffling to me. I didn’t know why then and I still don’t know why, but astonishingly enough, we stole a point. So set your affairs in order and dream of playing a team like Swiss side Grasshoppers this summer, because if we can steal a few more points like this, it’s Strangeways here we come.

"C'mon over here and give me some sugar"

Friday, May 12, 2017

Atalanta-Milan Preview: Too Close To Home

Atalanta hail from the same region in Italy as Milano, Lombardia. So they are literally and physically very close to home for Milan. But they also sit just six points ahead of us on the table, and a loss tomorrow could put our hopes of a Europa League qualification spot in serious jeopardy. Additionally, we have seen many Milan players through the years come through Atalanta. Likewise, they have three of our former youth players in their ranks who once offered promises of making it to our first team. All things considered, they are just too close to home.

Remember when that fierceness belonged to us?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Podcast: The Answer For Everything

With an injured mentality, there’s a lot to be down about. But we managed to find things that are much more frightening. It was too easy to jump on the sunshine and rainbows train after the close of the sale of the club, and the performances on the pitch since then have pushed people too far. Reality is not as pretty, but there are still things to be happy about (like Inter’s shambolic season.) Also, we discovered the answer for everything.

Not even convincing in his welcome photo

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Milan 1, Roma 4: The Truth Hurts

Milan fans have been high on the grinta Kool-Aid all season long, and coming down from that high is very painful. The truth hurts, and the truth is that Roma have a squad built to contend for the Scudetto and Milan have a squad that is at best built to stave off relegation. Lazio destroying Roma last week gave us hope that Roma would roll over and play dead for us, but that was not to be. The wolves smelled blood and attacked relentlessly, only allowing us a single consolation goal.

A goal is great, but it's not much consolation when the grinta Kool-Aid wears off

Milan vs. Roma: A Hero’s Welcome

Milan give a proper welcome to the King of Rome.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Milan-Roma Preview: Last Party

Roma have so few trophies, but they do have a legend: Francesco Totti, King of Rome. And as the saying goes, “No Totti, No Party.” This week it was announced that Totti, one of the last bandiere and a living legend, will be retiring at the end of this season and will be taking on the role of Technical Director for the club. Therefore, this will be his last appearance as a player at the San Siro, the last party.

All hail the King of Rome

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Racism in Calcio

This week Serie A is under fire once again for how it is dealing with racism. Inconsistencies in acknowledging and punishing those who abuse players make Serie A look like a league stuck in the dark ages. For a league that was just gaining respect again after more than ten years of decline, all of this negative attention is ridiculous. On the one hand, there is a big Champions League semifinal tonight featuring a Serie A team. But instead, what everyone is talking about is how racist and backwards Serie A is.

Milan once took a stand against racism... sort of

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Crotone 1, Milan 1: Keeping the Sharks at Bay

It’s a strange thing to say, but I think I liked it better when the sale of the club was up in the air. Because then the speculation was justified. But now that the deal is closed, Milan fans won’t stop speculating. Rather than look at recent form, playing away, and all of the missing players as well as the actual game itself, fans on social media are going crazy speculating over transfer rumors and even whether the club are aiming for Europa League. I thought i Squali were on the pitch, desperate to avoid relegation. But it turns out that people who call themselves Milan fans are far more vicious and likely to devour the club. So I guess it’s good we at least got the point today in hopes of keeping the sharks at bay.

Like the match itself, the goal wasn't pretty, but it still counts.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Crotone-Milan Preview: Sharknado Alert

Crotone are in 17th place, sitting five points behind Empoli. Catching and passing Empoli or 16th place Genoa on the table is their only hope of survival in Serie A. I Squali (the Sharks) are literally fighting for their Serie A survival, which means they will defy even the laws of nature in order to avoid the same fate of another club with a marine mascot, i Dolfini, who are already mathematically relegated. Even if they have to create a Sharknado to get three points at home on Sunday, they will. So grab your chainsaws, grenades, and any other possible Sharknado weapons and be prepared for anything.
Hope he's got his chainsaw ready again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The De Sciglio Dilemma

I thought I had seen it all… the Curva Sud marring Maldini’s farewell forever… fans surrounding both Milan’s and Genoa’s busses and then threatening our players with sticks… the ridiculously excessive abuse of Montolivo by fans who don’t even know why they hate him, they’re just parroting what everyone else is saying. But this takes the cake. Shoving a 24 year-old player’s parents and threatening and insulting him in a parking garage while they simply tried to go home? Why? Because of rumors. Two newspapers with absolutely no credibility reported that De Sciglio is going to Juventus. Like they’ve done for over a year now. The difference being, I guess, the takeover? I don’t know. What they did was so morally reprehensible. And yet the fact that they did it because of completely unfounded rumors… I don’t even know where to begin.

He's played for Milan longer than many of those who criticize him have "supported" the club

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Milan 1, Empoli 2: Some Things Never Change

They say that old habits die hard and some habits die harder than others. To be fair, Empoli were playing for their proverbial Serie A lives, and credit is to be given to them, especially Skorupski. But in this match, Milan were haunted by what Mihajlovic called “the ghosts of Milan.” We saw defensive errors, an inability to score, conceding on a set piece… just like old times. And there may or may not be a correlation to the fact that Montolivo was back on the bench and Galliani came to watch the match. I’ll let you decide. But it also impacted the fans, who behaved like entitled douchebags. Some things never change.

"Yeah, Montella told Montolivo to warm up. Can you believe it?!!"

Milan vs. Empoli: Perception

After all Milan have been through, and now this. It’s devastating.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Milan-Empoli Preview: To the Pain

In the movie “The Princess Bride,” the hero, Westley, challenges the villain, Prince Humperdinck, to a duel. Not to the death, but to the pain. Like Westley, who had suffered immeasurable pain and even death only to be brought back to life by true love, AC Milan has suffered immeasurably these past five years. Still weak from the suffering, Milan’s sale is hoping to bring new life back to the club, our one true love. Empoli are near death… er… relegation, but still five points clear at this point. So Milan need to fight them to the pain… close enough so that they can still hear the shriek of every child at the sight of the 17th place club, just above relegation, wallowing in freakish misery in Serie A.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Back to Work

The Derby dust has settled, the closing is official, and Yonghong Li has returned to China. Berlusconi is counting his money and Galliani is probably not renting a bicycle or eating at Giannino. The media are busy pulling names out of hats and creating stories about bringing every single footballer in the world to Milan, and the fans are dutifully believing all of it. All of this can only mean that it’s time to go back to work.

The letters have cooled on those kits, now it's time to make good on all of those promises

Monday, April 17, 2017

Podcast: Finally

After eleven months of uncertainty, the sale of Milan finally closed. The 31 year legacy of Berlusconi is over. But this new ownership raises as many questions as it brings answers. And speaking of answers, after Inter came into the Derby with a two point lead at halftime, Milan’s defenders came back with two goals of their own to answer. So recording right after that match, you can imagine what kind of conversation this was.

Celebrating with the new management after the Derby

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Inter 2, Milan 2: Epic Karma

The irony was not lost on me. In November, Milan suffered a heartbreaking 2-2 draw in the Derby with a goal scored in the dying minutes of stoppage time. So it was only fitting that we should show Inter the same kindness today. And that draw feels like a win, considering the difference in our quality of players. And quality of coreo. The Curva Sud created a Robin Hood themed coreo whose second banner said “Every city has its problems,” aimed at Inter. We definitely won that one. But what a perfect result for us today, who were definitely the underdogs on the pitch. And what epic Karma for Inter.

"Milano: Every city has its problems"

Friday, April 14, 2017

Inter vs. Milan: Lunchtime

“Tastes like chicken”

Inter vs. Milan Preview: Of Serpents and Devils

People are still talking about the closing of the sale of Milan, as well they should be. Particularly since we are getting our first look at the new management today with the big press conference. But like the evil, all-knowing eye of Sauron, my focus has turned completely to the Derby. Because, hello? It’s the Derby. And not just any Derby. One that will likely matter if one team gets a Europa League spot or not. One that finds both teams on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to both their quality of players and their form. A tale of the lowly Biscione, or serpents, and the mighty (if a bit downtrodden) Diavoli, or devils. The Derby is always a tasty treat, but this one is shaping up to be spectacular.

Artwork from the wall in the tunnels of San Siro shows how the story is supposed to end

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Closing...?

It’s the only thing that could begin to distract from the Derby. A Derby with both teams separated by only two points. Both clubs aiming for a Europa League spot. Inter have more quality players, but Milan have better form and more heart. A game that could be one of the biggest of the year, and yet two days ahead of it, we are talking about something else. The only thing that is bigger than the Derby is the closing of the sale of the club.

Cartoon artist @Valerio Marini on the takeover

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Double Derby

The only thing more exciting than one Derby in a week is when there are two Derbies in the same week. And that is happening this week. In addition to our mens’ Derby on Saturday, Milan Ladies are playing their Derby tonight against Inter Femminile. Whereas the mens teams drew back in November, Milan Ladies have a loss to avenge from their home derby, also in November.

There's only one side to be on, but there are two red and black teams to support

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Milan 4, Palermo 0: Synchronicity

The dictionary defines synchronicity as “the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.” This weekend in Serie A would appear to be exactly that, at least as far as Milan are concerned. While Milan’s win was so incredibly heartening after recent performances, the results of other games also favored us, with Atalanta drawing to Sassuolo, Lazio losing to Napoli, and Inter losing to Crotone. That leaves us in sixth place with 57 points, just three points away from fourth place Lazio. More importantly, it leaves Inter two points behind us in seventh ahead of Saturday’s Derby.

They did their job, Crotone did theirs, too

Friday, April 7, 2017

Milan-Palermo Preview: One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

After drawing with the 10th place team on Sunday, this week we face the 19th place team, Palermo. We have a lot in common with Palermo. Both clubs have crazy owners. And both clubs are in the midst of being sold to new crazy owners right now. But one team is in seventh, vying for a European spot, and the other is one foot in Serie B for next season. One club is waiting for a questionable Chinese businessman with a lot of loans to take them over, the other is closing their deal with an eccentric American. So I don’t know who will win, but I do know that one of these things is not like the other.

Worlds apart... new Milan and Palermo owners

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Podcast: Uncertainty

Uncertain performances on the pitch and an uncertain future have left much to the imagination. With a Derby on the horizon and a European spot becoming less likely with every unconvincing performance, hopes are starting to fade on the pitch. Similarly, off the pitch the newest closing date seems more likely than ever, but only because of a massive loan that brings more questions than answers. All of it adds up to all new levels of uncertainty.

And we thought our future was uncertain with this guy

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Pescara 1, Milan 1: Off

Montella did well to bring mentality back to Milan, the biggest thing that we had been missing in recent years. But I’ve often wondered how much of it may have been accidental, as it’s gone missing this calendar year. Sometimes we’re missing it for the first half or the second half or for 20 minutes when an opponent scores two goals on us. And with injuries, it seemed an excuse for losing some of our form. But we had a lot of starters back today, and so there were no excuses for playing nearly 90 minutes without mentality. Everyone was just off.

Muntari can only watch with envy, knowing he once played for Milan, too

Pescara vs. Milan: Double Jeopardy

One attacks, the other stops everyone and everything in his path

Friday, March 31, 2017

Pescara-Milan Preview: Zeman Country

Traveling to Pescara, it’s hard to fear a team that only has 12 points on the season. That’s six points from draws, three points because an opponent was judged to have fielded an ineligible player, and three points from a coaching change miracle win. So it’s not the team I fear so much, but rather the coach. That coach, of course, is Zdenek Zeman. He’s coached 17 different teams in his career, some of them multiple times. And yet his only claims to fame are winning Serie B two different times and winning Serie C2 once. So I’m not worried about him chasing Juventus for a title now or any time in the future. But what I am worried about is his ability to create brilliant individual wins. His infamous attacking style can throw even the best teams off guard, and take three impossible points any day of the week. So watch out, Milan. On Sunday, you’re entering Zeman Country.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It Hurts Less When You See It Coming

Guest Post: Another great guest post from Tony to get us through the end of this International Break. If you haven’t already, definitely read his debut piece, “The Berlusconi Myth.” Thanks again, Tony!

I have never been a fan of blind optimism. Like the deer in the headlights that is inevitably struck by the same large truck that rendered it unable to move, life will also hit you, too, if you don’t heed the warning signs. It’s not negativity, it’s being realistic. So many people hear that the Milan sale saga has yet another closing date and say “just wait and see” what happens. But I don’t need to wait and see. The warning signs are everywhere. Plus, having lived through the past five years with Milan, I’ve learned that it hurts less when you see it coming. Well that, and just when you think we’ve hit rock bottom, we find a whole new level to sink to.

And then there was one

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Italian Love Affair

It is no secret that I am American. But it is also pretty well known that I support Italy when it comes to football. I mean I fell in love with football because of the Italian national team. Also, did I mention I was American? Yeah. Go USMNT. Or something. I mean I think I’d rather be forced to support the San Marino national team or something, at least they try. But as I watched the Italians singing “Fratelli d’Italia” on Friday, including our own De Sciglio, my heart was stirred again in the way that I first fell in love with football, and I was certain that this truly is my Italian love affair.

Seriously, what's not to love?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

By Hook or By Crook

I am so done with this Sino Europe Sports deal. So done. And yet, here I am, writing about it again because… well because it’s not done. Still. And the saga gets more and more pathetic as the days go by. But as it drags on, the rumors get more and more ridiculous. Some people even think it’s going to get done by hook or by crook.

I know he looks more crook here, but I really don't think that's it this time

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cesare Maldini: Milan Patriarch

It’s been almost a year since a true Milan legend left us. Cesare Maldini is probably best known amongst our generation as the father of Paolo, and grandfather of Christian and Daniel. But in addition to having the good footballing genes to pass on to his posterity, he had wisdom. Wisdom that came from experience. Few realize that before Paolo was our captain, Cesare was also a legendary Milan captain in his own right.

Player, manager, father, legend

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Berlusconi Myth

Guest Post: I was so excited to find this great piece from Tony in my inbox the other day! Please give him a Milan Obsession welcome for this fantastic debut piece:

With the future of the club hanging in the balance, it might be prudent to look at the club’s financial past. Silvio Berlusconi is well known for rescuing the club from bankruptcy and turning it into one of the most successful clubs in history. However, his beloved status with Milan fans for his endless investments and myriad trophies often clouds the truth. The truth is that the man who “changed football forever” also changed football finances forever. Behind the beloved myth is the unsustainable business model he created.

Trophies, trophies everywhere... but not a drop of black ink to be found

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Milan 1, Genoa 0: Good Enough

Tonight the team played like a club that had been waiting for two years for the club to be sold, but had been strung along and were no closer now than they were two years ago. Tired, frustrated, and missing important pieces, it was hardly a performance to write home about. But the most important part was that they pulled off the win. Even if Genoa offered very little in the way of resistance, Milan won in spite of themselves. Which gave fans both hope and the three points. And that was also more than Inter gave their fans today. It wasn’t great, but it was good enough.

Not sure if he's happy to play, to not get injured, to score the goal, or all of the above

Milan vs. Genoa: Still Waiting

Hard to think about the game with so much hanging in the balance

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Milan-Genoa Preview: Galliani’s Mercato Scouting

Let’s face it, this deal is going nowhere. And that means neither is Galliani. Perfect, then, that we are hosting his favorite feeder club on Saturday. He can have his choice of lower table Genoa players for only a 20% markup from his buddy Preziosi. Sure, Barbara might have something to say about it, but look what happened to her the last time she tried to do something on her own. So bring a paper and pencil, so you can jot down the names of next year’s squad.

Milan's mercato in action

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Poll: Deal Closing

We are still in holding mode. Sino Europe Sports couldn’t get ketchup out of a bottle, much less money out of China. And ketchup can be tricky. While we await yet another deposit but still no sale, let’s take today and compare and contrast this deal with other things that are difficult.

Just when you think it's over, they flip the hourglass again

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sino Europe Sports: The Layaway Plan

In America, before the exorbitant and now routine use of credit cards, many retail stores offered layaway plans. If you wanted to buy a new television, for example, but couldn’t afford to pay for it all at once, you paid a down payment and the store would hold that TV for you as you made payments. Once you had it paid off, the TV was yours. Sino Europe Sports seem to be forcing that plan on Milan, too. The only problem is not only are Fininvest keeping the club until it is paid off, this layaway plan keeps the club in the back room in a box, too. Not allowing anything to move forward, we have missed out on two transfer markets and negotiations toward this summer’s market are also tied up until the sale is complete. And it begs the question: do Sino Europe Sports deserve to even purchase the club?

How many times will Milan be fooled?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Juventus 2, Milan 1: Scandal

This is not the first time we’ve faced the Bianconeri in Turin and faced a scandal. It kind of seems like it always happens there. Which we never seem to mind if it plays out for us, in our house or there. But there is also a dangerous and growing conspiracy theory out there that started, actually with those cry baby cheating Inter scumbags (that’s the unbiased technical terminology, the vernacular is much worse.) Then Napoli joined them because there were no territorial discrimination witchhunts available at the time. Most famously, this past week, De Laurentiis accused journalists in the north of being biased (but you know, that’s not territorial discrimination at all,) and a La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist had his car destroyed by Napoli fans. So I’m sure the man who hops onto scooters with random strangers and incites violence must be right. All Juventus ref calls are clearly biased and unmerited and that is why they, with the strongest and most coveted team in Italy, clearly own the referees. It’s a scandal.

The Equalizer

Juventus vs. Milan: Playdate From Hell

Do not try this at home

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Juventus vs. Milan Preview: When J’s Attack

I would say that we have a chance in hell of winning this one. One chance. Away to the Juventus fortress, where they have won every home game for a Serie A record of 30 games. Okay, maybe one chance was too high. They are also coming off of a lackluster draw to Udinese away on Sunday, and we get to be their warmup for killing off Porto in the Champions League at Juventus stadium next Tuesday. Lucky us. So as I mentioned on the latest podcast, all we’ve got left this week is to be able to make fun of their logo. Which at least provides endless hours of entertainment.

They just made it so easy

Monday, March 6, 2017

Podcast: Finding Prozac

I’m not gonna lie, this is not a positive podcast. If you’re not already taking any Milan-induced antidepressants, you probably should talk to your doctor before you listen to this one. Or at the very least buy stock in acohol. The club has sunk to new depths each year for the last four and a half years, and just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, it does. With the latest failure to complete the sale of the club, you’re going to need a lot of Prozac to continue to support Milan.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Milan 3, Chievo 1: Against All Odds

Going into this match was the most empty and hollow I’ve felt as a Milan fan, and if you read here often or listen to the podcasts, you’ll know that’s saying a lot. With no certainty of the future of the club whatsoever, no direction, no promise of change one way or the other, it was impossible to feel much of anything. And though everyone says that they are not distracted, Montella and the team gave signs that said otherwise before this match. With everyone’s patience wearing thin, it seemed difficult to imagine that the guys would be able to focus enough to pull off the win. But they did, almost miraculously so, to give us a little something to be happy about in a sea of uncertainty. Against all odds, too.

Two Colombians and an Italian went into a bar...

Milan vs. Chievo: Limbo

 The future of Milan hangs in the balance, and this guy has to lead the troops into battle

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Milan-Chievo Preview: Distractions

This week started out with a somewhat contentious but very welcome win for Milan. It was supposed to end with a takeover of the club after ten months of ups and downs, but instead, it pretty much just went down. Even the press conference for this match was scheduled for today instead of Friday, apparently because Montella was going to be meeting with the new management on Friday. And I have commended Montella in the past for being able to absorb whatever drama was going on around the club. But at this point, when things crumbled again at the last minute, I don’t know anyone who could shield the team from these ridiculous distractions.

Injuries, poor form, and an even less certain future... who's ready for some football?!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

This Time It’s Different

If I had a nickel for every time Milan fans told me that this deal was different than the Mr. Bee deal, I could afford to buy the club myself. And the money would be there on time, too. “It’s different because there’s a €100m deposit,” they told me before the last big delay. “It’s different because there’s a €200m deposit,” they have been telling me since December. Yes, it’s different alright. Since Sino Europe Sports entered into an actual contract with Milan, they have cost us two transfer markets of improving the squad. Every single change we made in the squad had to be approved by all of those extra people, in a different time zone, with no cash to pay for anything. And that cost us dearly on transfers that even Galliani might not have screwed up on his own.

€200m different, but worse results