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Showing posts from May, 2018

All About the Money

Much has been written about Yonghong Li and where he gets his money from. Also whether or not he has any. And who he is. And really, just so many things. In fact, there is so much more speculation than research on these subjects that even UEFA has bought into the uncertainties, even if he has given no actual reasons for all of the questions. It’s like questions are more important than answers. Which shouldn’t be that surprising, because it’s all about the money.

Watching Calcio

Serie A has trailed other leagues in terms of stadium attendance and viewership for much too long. They keep claiming they want to rebuild Serie A and increase attendance and viewership. Yet they do nothing to make that happen. Or even worse, they specifically keep doing the same things they’ve always done, expecting different results. But what they don’t see is the impact their terrible business practices have on fans, especially fans worldwide. By making it more difficult to attend games or view the games on TV or via streaming, they seem surprised that fewer people are actually watching calcio.

Uncertainties

Every summer, there are uncertainties. Like which players will leave and which players will come? There are tons of people who thrive on these questions, similar to a bunch of preteen girls. But UEFA’s announcement this week that Milan were being referred to their disciplinary committee for FFP violations has opened up a whole new level of uncertainties for this summer. Not only does it place questions on players we were pretty certain would stay, it places questions on whether or not we’ll be playing in Europa League and validates questionsthat many have asked about Yonghong Li’s ability to pay his debts and keep the club under this ownership. So many questions, so many questions we thought were answered with the sale of the club. Yet here we sit again amidst a sea of uncertainties.

Financial Foul Play

Fassone has always been “optimistic” about talks with UEFA about Milan’s Financial Fair Play status. As soon as the purchase of the club was completed, he met with them to request a Voluntary Agreement. When that was turned down, he met with them once again, providing even more documentation, about achieving a Settlement Agreement. And he was very optimistic about UEFA agreeing on a settlement based on FFP violations. However, the other day, they turned down the settlement agreement and referred Milan for disciplinary action. While their questions of “uncertainties” are difficult to argue, and Milan has failed to complete the tasks recommended by the investigatory committee, it’s still the only time I am aware of that a club has been referred because of the mistakes of past ownership and then punished for things that haven’t happened yet. It truly feels more like Financial Foul Play.

Podcast: The Donnarumma Rant

There is plenty to talk about at the end of the season, especially our first full season under our new management. But in addition to everything on the pitch, fans have created a controversy that is literally larger than life. And I am not happy about it. So for this episode, you get to hear me rant. A lot.

Milan 5, Fiorentina 1: Happy Ending

This post may turn up in searches for non-football related activities, and for that I apologize. But I couldn’t think of a better title for it after such a roller coaster season. We bought 12 new players, downgraded our coach, played weird formations, had problems scoring goals, and so much more. But today, we are all smiles. And after all, who doesn’t like a happy ending?

Milan vs. Fiorentina: All In

Either they forgot where they parked or they just realized how much depends on this match

Milan-Fiorentina Preview: It All Comes Down to This

Despite a turbulent season where 12 new players came in and we downgraded our coach with surprising results, going into our last match, Milan are in the same spot we were last season. Only with this match, we have the possibility of actually finishing lower. Having massively choked in the Coppa Italia and then given up a late goal to Atalanta last week to drop more points, we have 90 minutes to prove ourselves worthy of sixth place. It all comes down to this.

Milan Class

When Bonucci came to Milan, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. When he was given the captain’s armband, I was just grateful he was rescuing us from Montolivo. Anyone had to be better than him. But as events unfolded this year, I can honestly say that I think in addition to all that he has given to Milan, Milan has been good to him, given him more integrity. In contrast to his former Juventus captain, it seems that he got out just in time and has been blessed with Milan class.

Atalanta 1, Milan 1: Deluge

t wasn’t just pouring rain from the sky today in Bergamo, there was also a deluge of cards. Twelve cards, to be exact, ten yellow and two red. The most in any Serie A match this season. The two forms of heavy precipitation were probably related, as players were slipping and sliding into each other for 90 minutes plus stoppage time. But conceding an equalizer in stoppage time, Milan only took a point out of the match, leaving our Europa League qualifying hanging until the final matchday next week.

Atalanta-Milan Preview: The Penultimate Final

Milan have two chances for direct qualification into the Europa League, and Sunday’s is the next to the last one. Rather ironic that our last two games would be contested with the teams who are within a point or two behind us on the table, and Atalanta are the team that are exactly one point behind us going into this match. Which makes a result in this, the penultimate final, a necessity.

Coppa Italia Final • Juventus 4, Milan 0: Don’t Pack Your Bags Yet

Milan were destroyed by Juventus, I’m not going to sugar coat anything here. Once again, the disparity between a club that has been shrewdly and carefully rebuilding since 2006-07 and now needs a moving van for their trophies and this Milan was glaringly blatant. Despite needing a moving van for the amount of cash we invested last summer, Milan are trying to repair the sinkhole Berlusconi and Galliani made of this club. And so far, it’s going about as well as this game did for us. Which is sad, because if had Milan managed the upset, we would be qualified for the Europa League Group Stages right now, and the team would be definitely coming to the U.S. this summer. But now we have to play two games, two finals, to see where we end up on the table and if we can play in the ICC Tournament or not. So don’t pack your bags yet.

Coppa Italia Final • Juventus vs. Milan: Hardware

Anything that is hard in life is worth having. That includes hardware. As in the Coppa Italia trophy. That also comes with a magic patch that we could put on those awful new Puma kits to dress them up a bit next season. Plus there’s bragging rights. Beating the team that is likely to lift a seventh consecutive Scudetto here in a couple of weeks is worth bragging about. It would also take a bit of the sting off of a season that didn’t live up to everyone’s dreams. But it would also mean automatic qualification into the Europa League group stages. And that gives the team the opportunity to come here to the U.S. to see me… I mean to play in the ICC tournament and make some serious cash while they frolic under the Southern California sun... sorry, I was daydreaming. Let’s just say that this match is all about the hardware.

Podcast: Confusion

After a season of hot and cold performances, looming ahead of us is a cold, dark mercato where there is more confusion than clarity. Despite a meeting with UEFA and a shareholder’s meeting, there are more questions than answers coming from management. And to make matters worse, the future of Mirabelli at Milan is also swirling with rumors and speculation, leaving us further in the depths of confusion.

Milan 4, Verona 1: Effective

There’s a word that’s been missing when describing this Milan squad since the International Break, really. That word is effective. Today they stayed focused and put the game to bed early and thoroughly. Granted, they did concede that pesky goal. But the word is “effective,” not “perfect.” And effective was enough to get 3 points.

Milan-Verona Preview: Concentration

There is a game called Concentration, also known as Memory. There are a number of pairs of cards, face down, and the object is to turn over two at a time, hoping for a match. Milan have a game on Saturday that will require their full concentration, only the only thing we really need to match is three points at the end of the game. We don’t need to play pretty football, although that would be ideal. And technically, we don’t even need a clean sheet. Just a win and three points. But to get them, we’ll need everyone’s full concentration.

What the Hell, Italy?

I don’t even know where to begin. I guess let’s start with the elephant in the universe: Italy is not going to the World Cup this year. Why? On the surface, it seems they struggle with finding a good coach, appropriate callups, not enough talent, not enough youth, etc. But it goes so much deeper than that. There is an infrastructure that was created by the actual dinosaurs who lived in the area now known as Italy that has not been updated since. And there is a culture of suspicion, intolerance, and corruption that is even older than those dinosaurs. Calciopoli was both a product of and disastrous result of a complete lack of accountability and integrity, not only within football, but in the country and within the culture. The same culture that brought so much to the world in the form of art, architecture, fashion, amazing food and wine, and other things is also one of the ugliest when it comes to sportsmanship, character, and basic human decency. What the hell, Italy?