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Milan v Arsenal. What it is like under new management?

By Bulldog Drummond

Milan have had a resurgence of late and after an unbeaten run lie seventh, just outside next season’s Europa positions…

# Team Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1 Napoli 27 22 3 2 62 19 43 69
2 Juventus 26 22 2 2 63 15 48 68
3 Roma 27 16 5 6 44 23 21 53
4 Lazio 27 16 4 7 64 34 30 52
5 Inter Milan 26 14 9 3 42 21 21 51
6 Sampdoria 26 13 5 8 46 34 12 44
7 AC Milan 26 13 5 8 37 30 7 44
8 Atalanta 25 10 8 7 37 29 8 38
9 Torino 26 8 12 6 36 32 4 36
10 Fiorentina 26 9 8 9 35 32 3 35

As with the Premier League the top four go into Champions League. next two into Europa.

But all is not quite what it might seem…

Just as many would like to happen at Arsenal, Milan changed owners in April 2017 with Li Yonghong taking over the club,.  But rather than that being the ending of their problems it was the start.   We might feel that FFP is a dead duck in the Premier League but Uefa is monitoring Milan in this regard and sanctions are a possibility.  The owner is outraged.

Corriere Della Sera, ran the headline “The safe that Milan bought was empty,” saying that the man who bought Milan for £628m actually doesn’t have the money and that a bankruptcy court has arranged for the company Li owns to be sold off on the Chinese version of EBay.

So either Li is indeed highly wealthy man who keeps his money hidden under the mattress to avoid the taxman, or he is (and here is the new word so you might want to write this down), a “mythomaniac”.  Alternatively it could be argued that  the whole thing is an absolute muddle that no one can work out.

Li said, “I want to … take the opportunity to explain – hoping this will be the last time – that the situation concerning my assets is safe and sound and that both the club and my companies are steadily working.”  So that’s ok then.  After all football club people who have just bought a new club don’t lie, do they?

The reason Li is in the headlines is that he took out a €300m loan in order to see through the takeover.  That looks odd – a loan to sort out the teams loans?  Are football teams as secure as that?

But then he brought in Gattuso as coach and it all seemed to start going right.  As the anti-Arsenal media keep telling us, Milan have conceded “only one second-half goal in 2018 and approach Arsenal feeling upbeat when, two months ago, this would have resembled a broadside of blanks between two sinking ships.”

But still the story keeps circulating that Li can’t replay the loan he took out and is about to go bust.  He is paying 11.5% interest – which in today’s financial world is insane and suicidal and he has to pay it all back with interest in October.

Corriere Della Sera has now said Li’s capital assets only total €100m, suggesting, in the words of the press, that there are “more questions than answers.”

Even the highly relaxed and easily bought off Uefa are appearing slightly “molto agitato” (if my Italian is approximately half right) about the whole affair and as a result rejected Milan’s offer of a voluntary agreement to restructure their finances and stave off any FFP punishment is not being taken seriously.  And FFP punishment there might be, given their spending on transfer funds following their dire start to the season.

Uefa said in a formal statement,  “There are still uncertainties in relation to the refinancing of loans to be paid back in October 2018 and the financial guarantees provided by the main shareholder.”

In Italian football it was ever thus.

 So on the pitch they have done very well indeed.  As to the finances, I couldn’t possibly comment.

19 comments to Milan v Arsenal. What it is like under new management?

  • Josif

    AC Milan have been in crisis ever since Silvio Berlusconi got bored with the club.

    In fact, even during his reign, whenever he had more interest in politics or personal problems, AC Milan had gone through a rough time.

    Last time we played at San Siro they had destroyed the pitch on the flanks so that our full-backs and wingers couldn’t make any impact on the game. We lost 4-0 with Thierry Henry making his last appearance for Arsenal.

    My head says: 3-0 for Milan on Thursday.

    My heart says: fuck it, 3-1 for Arsenal!

    COYG!

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Arsenal don’t have the resemblance of the acute mind bugling financial problem that’s currently reigning at AC Milan. Save the long standing Premier League and Champions League Tiles win failings that have prevailed at Arsenal for 14 and 22 consecutive seasons.

    However, the Gunners can start to redress these 2 major Titles win failings by beating the Rosonneri in their backyard at the San Siro on Thursday night tomorrow in the last 16 of the Europa League Cup first leg match to take the advantage of an away win in the match back to the Emirates Stadium for the return leg match.

    My final Arsenal 5-3-2 starts and 7 on the bench Gunners for the match.

    Starts:
    Ospina
    Bel’rin Cha’bers Kos’elny Mustafi Mo’real
    Wilshere………….Oezil……….. Mkhitaryan
    ……………..Ramsey…Welbeck……………….

    Bench:
    Cech Mert’ Holding Maitland ElNeny Iwobi Nketiah.

  • goures

    What has their letting in or rather not letting in goals have anything to do with their financial activities?

  • Gord

    OT: Referee competence

    Isn’t the referee at least supposed to look at the gamesheet before the game?

    Former Gunner Sanchez Watt was dismissed, and then not dismissed for telling the referee what his name is when the referee asked him for his name.

    http://www.sportbible.com/football/news-funny-sanchez-watt-responds-brilliantly-to-hilarious-red-card-fiasco-20180307

  • timo

    Gattusso says the EPL : serie A is a 00:10 situation! Probably valid. What exactly does he mean?

  • Gord

    Just a shot in the dark, is that it will be boring football until the last 10 minutes, and then someone may try to score a goal.

  • colario

    Gord
    08/03/2018 at 4:37 am

    It’s funny but let’s be fair to the ref without the player’s name on his shirt, how can the ref check.

    Yes the ref is given the team list before the start of the game but in the heat of the play. Poor man. He had a bad moment at the office, let’s hope it wasn’t a bad day.

  • colario

    Seeing the time given for my post I note I wrote before I wrote it! Its 10.25pm 7/3/18 here.

  • Gord

    The referee when looking at the gamesheet, could not see that there was a player named Watt? Which is phonetically close to What?

  • Pat

    Gord

    What a great story about Sanchez Watt! I did laugh.

  • Jammy

    As we all know, getting knocked-out at the round of 16 in the CL is something to be ridiculed for and laughed at over, so I’m 100% certain we’ll see Spurs getting the exact same treatment. Yeah, like fuck will we.

  • knobby

    Shhh whisper this… the Spuddies are out of Europe..
    Mind the what effin gap!

  • Sam sayyed

    Haha! Media darlings and best thing since sliced bread dumped out of CL. There goes their last chance of trophy. Haha !

  • Polo

    The chicken cocked up again, to be honest I have sympathy for them, they are a very good team and played very well, Juventus parked the bus against them so they should hold their head high. The Old Lady killed the Chicken for dinner tonight, yum yum.

  • Polo

    @ Sam, they’re still in the FA Cup but according to some it’s not a trophy so you’re right their last chance of a trophy is gone lol.

  • Sam sayyed

    @polo

    Yes I realised after my post but then thought the same that it has ceased to be a trophy since we won it 3 times in 4 years.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Poor Spuds , but then again that loss will be remembered as being the catalyst for further future glory and greatness .

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/43326021

  • Nitram

    I’m sure certain posters who insist everyone else gets the same shit we do will be pointing us in the direction of all the ridicule spurs will be getting this morning.

    or maybe not.

    And lets be honest, as well as Spurs played they yet again had the ref on there side.

    An absolute nailed on penalty for Juve not given.

    Spurs players diving around like Olympic swimmers and the referee falling for every single dive.

    Alli was the worst of them, he is a joke, and not a single word of criticism from the commentators that I heard.

  • Josif

    @Nitram

    Barzagli could have been sent off for stamping on Son. Chiellini’s handball No. 1 was clumsy. On the other hand, as you point out, Costa had a clear penalty not given and Kane could have scored from offside with that last chance because of the same linesman. Alli’s diving has reached the level that for the first time ever I wish a player picks an injury. Un-bloody-believable.