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

This post was supposed to be an angry rant about Galliani’s mismanagement of Milan’s transfer market. The latest rage stemming from the news that Juventus reported a gain of €12.6m in their transfers alone in the first half of their 2016-17 financial year. Galliani dumped €14m solely on Luiz Adriano in January. Because, you know, we’re fine as we are. So Juve made a profit, while Milan poured even more money down the drain. People want to find excuses as to why Juventus have so much success on the pitch, well it starts with management. Juventus’ management have been doing everything right, and Milan can’t get anything right.

And Milan not getting anything right brings me back to this supposed sale of the club. In Silvio’s claim to give Milan new owners who can invest properly into the club, he has managed to find investors who not only cannot come up with the funds on time, but now reportedly may not even exist in the plural sense. If that is true, then this deal is not unlike the Mr. Bee deal after all. And if they can’t come up with the money to buy, who says they’ll have the money they promised to invest? How is it okay to break contract after contract in the sale and then trust blindly they’ll keep their contract when it comes to future investments?

An exclusive photo of the mystery investors

But the €200m… that makes it legit, right? Does it? It certainly shows intent. And it shows that Silvio is not as interested in what’s best for Milan as he is in getting out financially. As of this writing, there is talk of another €100m deposit and another extension. First of all, for a group that was supposed to close on March 3rd and have the money to Fininvest by the 1st for said closing, giving them until March 10th to get €100m there instead seems very, very questionable. To extend one more time shows more stupidity than faith, and is more damaging to the morale of the club and fans worldwide. What is that saying, “Fool me once?” If Silvio lets them fool him the third time (or however many, I’ve lost count,) then it’s on him.

If Silvio loved this club the way he says he does, he’d say enough. Pocket the €200m, use that to invest in the next two transfer markets, and move on to other buyers. Am I the only one who doesn’t find it ironic that Sino Europe Sports did actually manage to get €100m per transfer market to Milano in time for each of the last two transfer markets, but in a way that it could not be utilized to benefit the team? And don’t get me started on player contract extensions. Donnarumma’s future in particular hangs in the balance of this would-be sale of the club.

Milan desperately need to keep a few key players to return to European and Serie A glory

This deal has become all about money, not the love of Milan. Berlusconi wants to cash in before Galliani finishes running it into the ground. Sino Europe Sports just wants a big piece of the pie in China’s initiative to become a footballing world power. But amidst the excuses that this is the biggest takeover deal Chinese investors have attempted in Europe, people are missing the larger point: they can’t close the deal. There is literally no excuse at this point that makes their claim to want to make Milan a great club again valid. They have done more to prevent Milan’s return to greatness in their inability to find and keep investors and more importantly to actually come up with the cash.

Until there is an official statement from Sino Europe Sports and/or Fininvest, of course, much of this new information on the collapse or delay of the deal is considered speculation. But consider this: each time the deal was looking to go through, the media got more right than Fininvest or Sino Europe Sports. The media. The same monster that creates and spreads ridiculous transfer news, and will heartlessly print anything without a shred of journalistic integrity. And yet they get more right than our current or prospective management. What does that say about management?

Or "The fortune you seek is in another investor"

I say it’s time for Berlusconi to pocket the €200m, which he rightfully can, as Sino Europe have violated their contract many, many times. Invest that money in the next two transfer markets, and look for someone who really does love Milan to buy the club. Like the fans. Anyone up for starting a Go Fund Me for AC Milan? I’m betting we could come up with the €700m faster than Yonghong Li. And probably run the club much better, too. They say the third time’s a charm, and maybe the closing will go through after all this weekend. But does the third time charm also apply to the sale of the club contract extensions? I’m guessing that not even a third €100m is going to change the takeover blunders of these mystery investors. You know, because this time it’s different.


This post inspired by the music of The Hives “Hate To Say I Told You So”


Our next match is
Milan vs. Chievo
Saturday, March 4 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)