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Missing Out



As if it’s not bad enough facing a World Cup without Italy, Milan fans might be looking at a season without Europe. Not that we haven’t had our fair share of those seasons lately. But with an improved squad and a much better season, the idea hurts. We finally seemed to be rebuilding, but this just feels like a sucker punch. Most of all, it feels like we could be simply missing out.

Last year, fans welcomed Milan back to Europe with passion, this year we could be missing out altogether

I honestly feel like going without Europe for a year would really boost our chances of a quick return to the Champions League. During the 2016-17 season, we discussed numerous time on the podcast how Inter were doing so poorly so as to just miss out on Europa League for their shot at earning Champions League this past season. And it worked. They did it, in spite of themselves. Think of how much more effective this team would have been this season without all of those Thursday games… we could have easily been in Champions League this season instead.

Which begs the question, why is UEFA doing this? Returning to Champions League was part of our business plan. Had we done so, we would have earned tens of thousands of Euros, as well as the prestige. We missed out, by two spots on the Serie A table, and now look at perhaps up to ten thousand Euros at best? And yet they want to take that away from us. Would they have dared to do so if we had reached the more lucrative and prestigious Champions League? Because that would have looked even worse for them.

The irony

It’s impossible to know what could have been, and we don’t even know until next Tuesday or Wednesday what will be. That is when the UEFA disciplinary committee will render their sentence on Milan, ironically based on “uncertainties.” Milan would have the chance to appeal, but time is of the essence. The Europa League qualifying rounds begin in 5 weeks, and plans need to be made. If Milan are not going to be in the competition, the other teams that would be impacted need to know as soon as possible.

Without knowing what our sentence will be, Milan are also missing out on the transfer market right now. All plans have been put on hold pending whether or not we are playing in Europe, any fines and how much those will be, or other sanctions, such as number of players that can play in Europe. And despite reports of Yonghong Li frantically looking for a minority shareholder to help find favor with UEFA regarding our financial stability, it is highly unlikely that anything official could be announced in time for it to impact the disciplinary committee’s verdict. 

Milan's fate rests in the hands of people in these offices

It just feels as a fan that no matter what we do, Milan keep getting the short end of the stick. Last year, fans celebrated our premature return to the Europa League, only now looking back to maybe see that it was more harmful than helpful. Milan being disciplined for the last three years under Berlusconi and/or for guessing what may or may not happen in October. Our transfer market being impacted once again by Yonghong Li’s finances just adds insult to injuries. There is still hope, but all of that hope hinges on the decision of a bunch of people sitting in Nyon, Switzerland. And one way or the other, whether it be the transfer market or whatever consequences of their decision, Milan are missing out.


This post inspired by the music of Journey’s “Faithfully”