10 Reasons It Is Great to Be a Milan Fan Right Now

After the goalless draw on Monday, Milan fans have gone into a very dark place. At best, it could be considered an overall malaise. Fans of other teams would think we were threatened with relegation or facing a transfer ban or stuck in an ownership hold again or something. Despite dropping two very valuable points at a crucial point in the season, there are actually many more reasons to celebrate being a Milan fan right now, reasons to be grateful that you bleed in red and black. Here are just ten of them:

Pioli's on Fire

1 Milan Are in First Place

You would never know it, based on how fans have reacted this week, but check for yourselves. Milan are still top of the table, even if it is only by one point. Yes, it is a very dangerous margin, but it is still our margin to concede. And if the league were forced to end today, we would be winners, despite all of our injuries and all of those documented referee errors that actually led to referee suspensions. Enjoy it while it lasts... Milan are in first place. 

2 Maldini

We have Paolo Maldini as our Technical Director. One of the greatest players, captains, and people to ever play the game, a legend in his own right, and a second generation Milan legend at that. He is calling the shots, and he is calling them like a boss. He has cut the wage bill by 43% since taking charge, bringing it down to only €82 million per year. Meanwhile, he has taken the team from fifth place to first place in the league, as well as bringing Milan back to the Champions League after a long absence.

Compare Milan's wages to the wage bills of the teams currently in first place in the other leagues: Bayern Munich – €192 million per year, Real Madrid – €401 million per year, PSG – €470 million per year, and Manchester City – €258 million per year. Maldini has us winning at a fraction of the cost. Also, the football. Even in the most frustrating games, there is better football on display than there was on average in the pre-Maldini years. Have you hugged your Maldini poster today?

It is honestly surreal if you sit back and think about it

3 Pioli

First it was the turtlenecks. Then the coffee. Then Pioli was just on fire. After 100 Serie A matches in charge, he became the Milan coach with the highest average points, with 2.04 points per match, according to OptaPaolo. He has taken this team of very young players, adding the experienced players as given him, and created a unified family with heart and grinta to outperform all expectations. Pioli is on fire.

4 Milan are Back Financially

Milan finally made the Deloitte Money League again, we are 19th in the world in terms of income, something that was so shocking that Deloitte had to actually re-release their ranking because even they could not believe it. Our club that was near bankruptcy just five years ago under Yonghong Li is now in the top 20 teams in the world in revenue (and climbing.) We did this during a global pandemic, during a time when Agnelli and friends were claiming there is no way to financially sustain a football club. Time for people to take us seriously again.

We are back in the big leagues

5 The Club Turned a Profit

That is not a typo. During the first half of this season, Milan actually turned a profit of €3 million. Sure, it was mainly due to the sale of Casa Milan, but do not spoil my party. I love the color red, but we have not seen anything written in black in our books for years, so this is worth celebrating. Revenue has increased by a whopping 40% in the past year. (Also not a typo.) FORTY PERCENT GROWTH. During a pandemic.

More importantly, while some clubs are worried about being allowed to make transfers at all, Milan are already making moves in the summer market because we are one of only two Serie A teams that meet the new UEFA criteria for financial sustainability. And we are the only one currently in the top six in the league to meet that criteria, which may affect the other teams' standings in the Champions League and Europa League. The financial growth has not been looking this good at Milan for decades.

He took a pay cut to stay and then started showing his true worth

6 Milan are Still in Contention for 2 Trophies

Mark your calendars, it is April 7th, and Milan are still in contention for two trophies – the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia. Sure, the chances are good that we could end up with zero, but we are still looking good to qualify for the Champions League again, regardless. Plus there is still a chance that Ibrahimović could get that hardware he is looking for.

7 This Team is Young

Other teams are built around older, established players. But Milan's project has been built around young players who are hungry, eager to play for the shirt, and above all talented. They invested in a player like Leão, whose market value has more than doubled in the past year. But look at players like Tonali, Tomori, Calabria, Kalulu, and others, who are developing into formidable talents and yet came to Milan on relatively low costs and low salaries. This young team is exciting and built to grow together.

Broken wrist? Racist abuse? He rises above it all. And he can use his feet.

8 Our Goalkeeper

We thought we had the best goalkeeper in the world, and when he asked for too much money, Maldini just went out and found the goalkeeper who would become the next best goalkeeper in the world. That other guy? His market value has dropped since walking away. It turns out that playing for Milan means something. And Maignan knew when he came to Milan that he had earned the right to show he could do it. He brought an exciting new style of goalkeeping to the Rossoneri that is amazing and inspiring and modern all at once. What a great time to be a Milan fan.

9 Our Defense

Pioli was a defender, and Maldini was the defender, so it shouldn't surprise that Milan's defense has exploded under their tutelage. Even with Romagnoli likely to leave, we have Tomori, who has quickly established himself as one of the best center backs in the league. Our young right back, Kalulu, has recently established himself as a solid pairing for Tomori. Now we are likely to sign the highly rated Botman as well, and we still have our Viking, Kjaer, coming back from injury. That's just in the middle. We also have Calabria on the right and Theo Hernández on the left. Such an exciting time for fans of defenders at Milan.

Not even our only center back options

10 The Future

Regardless of how this season ends – and top four actually exceeds expectations on paper as far as wages, age, experience, injuries, referee errors, and more – the future of Milan is brighter than it has been in decades. This project is really starting to bear fruit both financially and on the pitch. Kessie's departure marks the last of the Fassone and Mirabelli mercenaries, while Romagnoli's departure and Ibrahimovic's potential retirement would mark the end of our association with the bloodsucking Raiola. Everyone else has been brought through the youth team or brought in by Maldini to play for Milan, and they understand the limitations of the project. They are here to win, not make themselves or their agents rich. 

Perhaps it is the glimpses of this future that we have seen in winning streaks and victories that were beyond what this team should have been capable of that created lofty expectations and entitlement from some fans. When you look at things realistically, there is no way we should be in first place right now. Which is probably why no one else is counting on Milan to win this season. But stranger things have happened, and this team are not giving up. No matter how this season ends, the future is brighter than ever. 

A whole team's worth of reasons it is great to be a Milan fan right now

As a bonus, with any luck, we can hope that we never have to see those hideous fourth kits again. Especially after the result while wearing them on Monday. Plus, now there are only seven games left to survive until we find out how all of this craziness ends. It is a great time to be a Milan fan.

This post inspired by the music of Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"

Our Next Match is
Serie A Week 32
Torino vs. Milan
Sunday, April 10 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)

10 Reasons It Is Great to Be a Milan Fan Right Now 10 Reasons It Is Great to Be a Milan Fan Right Now Reviewed by Elaine on 1:30 AM Rating: 5
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