Cardinale says his partners in Milan ‘are the fans’ and says ‘you have to take it seriously’

By Euan Burns -

AC Milan owner Gerry Cardinale has claimed that the fans are who he sees as his partners in Milan and he stressed the importance of taking this sort of project seriously. 

At a time when the fans have voiced dissatisfaction with the RedBird Capital Group ownership of the club, Cardinale spoke from the stage of the Qatar Economic Forum at Bloomberg, with his comments relayed by Tribal Football.

The last two home games have been very quiet at San Siro and seen a lot fewer flags and banners because the ultras are protesting what they perceive to be a lack of ambition from the Milan ownership.

Cardinale has extended something of an olive branch to the fans by saying that the fans are his partners in Milan and he takes the situation very seriously.

“The answer is that in these years as owners of Milan we have experienced exactly what we expected. But knowing it theoretically and experiencing it firsthand, on your own skin, has differences. I say this because our ‘partners’ in AC Milan are the fans and I take this very seriously. In America team and club owners don’t have this type of ‘partnership’, but in European football it is something you have to take seriously,” Cardinale explained.

“In Italian football you have to take it very seriously, and I do. There’s an opportunity here, at least in our investment thesis, to professionalize how these things are handled. These are no longer ‘hobbies for rich people’, now you see that institutional capital is attracted to these situations because these are multi-billion dollar live event entertainment businesses. You have to have a balance. The fans obviously always want to win. The irony in sports is that if you win every year you make the competition less interesting.”

Cardinale went on to explain how you can foster success in the sporting world without losing sight of the human element and the financial nouse that is needed.

“The human element and its unpredictability is what makes these things so precious. But in any case it is obvious that you always set out to win the championship, to get as far as possible in the competition,” Cardinale said.

“To do this you need to find a balance between the short-term goal of winning every year and the long-term goal of sustainability and consistency in reducing volatility and variation in performance. These things shouldn’t just lead to income, that would be lazy, but should instead increase cash flow, which is a good thing. Reinvest cash flow to improve the team and win.”

Milan are trying to secure long-term success and this is what has angered some sections of the fanbase who think that Milan should be successful immediately given the size of the name.

“It’s a virtuous circle, no different from what happens in any other company. It’s just that here emotion takes over from time to time, and this is where the best thing we can do to steward this asset for Italy and for the fans is to make sure we set it up for long-term success. Then it’s obvious that we want to win every year. Here’s the interesting thing. We have never been a majority shareholder of such a large sporting entity before. We certainly went around them, like with the Yankees or the Cowboys, but that’s part of the learning process,” Cardinale said.

Tags AC Milan Gerry Cardinale


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    1. Mr Cardinale just want to make the league interesting. Mr Cardinale said: “It will be boring league if we win every year, give others chance, we already win 2021/2022 scudetto”.

  1. “The irony in sports is that if you win every year you make the competition less interesting.” He acts as if he is winning already

      1. I wouldn’t say he is a broke loser – he owns one of the most decorated teams in history – what do you own? You sound broke and you’re the one whining here, get a life.

    1. I dunno about the rest of you guys but I don’t get bored of winning. Not even after 7 straight scudettos but I f*ng hate losing to Inter even once.

      1. Who would.
        I wouldn’t get tired if Milan could turn the Serie A into a farmers league.
        As long as Milan does well, the rest of the world can burn.

  2. Yap yap yap yap…

    His dirty mouth is saying we are going to the top, actions are showing the opposite.

    We have to be patient, oh, it’s already 2 years, oh, we lost 5-6 derbies since he took over the club.

    1. Good thing is that he cannot make money with a team that doesn’t compete for trophies. The value of the club will go down if the competitiveness goes down.

  3. I agree with you all Mr Cardinale is not aMILAN fan but he’s doing this for business the most important thing for him is to gain more money from our glorious team MILAN FORZA MILAN PER SEMPRE.

  4. You guys are very boring to listen to. Try to be happy once in a while. Why van’t you ever recognise that not everything is Milans or the manegements fault. There are other teams in the league trying just as hard as us. Some of them cheating their way to the top.

    Our time will come. Promising steps have been taken. Let’s not forget where we came from before Elliott. Lots of money was wasted for nothing. Just a lot of dept that we’ve had to live with for more than five years now. You’re all complaing about the manegement wanting money. The club needs money to spend the kund of money ya’ll want to spend. Either we build organically or get ourselves into dept like Inda.

    I like what he’s saying. I think he speaks both with heart and mind. You’re all speaking from the heart. And that’s fine from a fans perspective. But the manegement are the ones who have to make all the hard decisions not us. And then it’s up to the players to make it happen on the pitch. That’s what makes this sport exciting just like he says.

    1. I dont understand the anti-american sentiment either. He is the owner, where’s he’s from doesn’t matter. I wish people can critique without getting into that other stuff. But for me is the anti-BS in the sporting side of things. Rearranging the deck chairs and then claiming this team can win notwithstanding the number of changes to the team last year, yea ….that’s the BS part.
      But like he himself said, they’ve never really don’t this before for such a large entity. That’s on the one hand, on the other hand they’ve made great strides in the commercial sector and progress on the stadium (I think these areas are clearly where he’s more comfortable speaking about). And that’s commendable.
      The other thing too is this article is designed to drum up what you just said….. anti-american sentiment. Brings clicks and reactions and we keep on commenting. Next article might be pro American 🤷‍♂️ so the others get their shine. Rinse and repeat

      1. Same….

        Their big mistake was keeping pioli… but now lets wait and see for nexflt season.. …
        The leagues are still pkaying and people are demanding signing and action as if it was july already…..

        1. I wouldn’t say it was a mistake to keep him per se but imo, if they were going to sack him or change direction, last year would have been way better as it was his worst finish in the league in a proper season for Milan. He was part of the decision making process that included the other people that got fired for said decisions as well so imo they should have all gone if that was the MO. Start fresh. Now they’ve backed themselves into a corner firing a coach who just gave us second place regardless of how we all feel how the season went. That’s immediate pressure on the next coach, similar to how making all those purchases last summer put unnecessary pressure on our season. The next coach HAS to win the Scudetto simply because he’d be immediately compared to Pioli’s last season (2nd, don’t worry trust me the comparisons will happen). And that’s simply insane when you think about it.
          However if they said that they have been involved in sport for many years, we have to trust them but that mantra will also lose its effect the longer we go without a trophy

          1. I don’t know about that, revamping the whole team+sacking Pioli in the same summer would have been a lot to digest and might have ended up worse than the current season regardless of the new coach. Pioli did bad last season but I felt at that time that he had the excuse of the team lacking depth and the departure of Kessie, so we pretty much had to see this season in order to judge him.
            As far as the comparisons, everyone has their own standard, some will defend a top 5 finish, some think that anything less than a scudetto would be bad. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not so much being second to inter that bother me this much, but rather being pretty much outside of any competition for the entire season. We never played for the scudetto, nor the UCL and got eliminated in the QF in both coppa Italia and EL. You could say for example that the 2004/05 season was titless and unsuccessfull, but at least we were competitive till the last games.
            But in the end, it’s up to the management to determine what are our objectives for next season and judge the new coach according to that, and not according to what some fans want. The management will be judged if the objectives fixed are too high or too low.

          2. “I don’t know about that, revamping the whole team+sacking Pioli in the same summer would have been a lot to digest”
            That’s a fair point too @giga
            There is definitely merits for keeping or firing Pioli last year. In the pro-keep-him column i could have also said that he gave a great run in the UCL and he just needed a better squad to push further.
            I was just saying the justification to fire could have made sense at the time too.

  5. “We have never been a majority shareholder of such a large sporting entity before. ”
    I’m not sure saying we’ve never done something like this before drums up alot of confidence amongst fans.

  6. Most people that are whining here have zero clue how to run a team, less so one of Milan magnitude. They think you can go spend endlessly on new players and don’t worry about the financial side of things. Thats what Berlusconi did and left the team in limbo for many years. Milan won nothing for many years and they won Scudetto couple years ago and came in second this season. Should we talk about champions league and how many years Milan missed out on it before new management arrived? How many times did Milan miss out in CL under Cardinale?

    Should we talk about the stadium that Cardinale is pushing to build? Are you going pay for it? No, you won’t, he is. It’s easy to talk about negatives and that’s what miserable people do – they don’t see the positive side. SMH!

    1. Where does optimism ends and blind faith begins? Miserable people are the one who watch football like cold blood bankers. Mmh capital gain, goosebumps. Football is a sport of emotions. I’m sad for you if you didn’t enjoy the scudetto or the run in UCL or having in the team one of the most promising Italian players who has been a fan since he was 8 years old. That’s why you fail to see that we’ve been humiliated like never before by Inter this season.

      Since Jerry and his endless play of “we the people” is in town, we start over and over again. New management. “Give them time”. New players. “Give them time”. Now new coach and new players. I guess we have to give them time also. You don’t look like the smartest here because you worship and defend a billionaire who don’t know you exist. Actually believing that Jerry is building a stadium because he is a philanthropist makes you look stupid.

  7. “The irony in sports is that if you win every year you make the competition less interesting.”

    LOL. Yeah, winning every year is so damn easy and it will make the fans numb and bored, right? 😀 😀 😀

    1. If you tell me right now that we can win the next 10 scudettis and some UCLs but that I might get bored and get numb I will sign immediately.

    2. Because man city fans are numb and bored everytime they lift the epl trophy.

      And you would find people defending this mediocrity like they don’t understand the caliber of the club they support.
      🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️ Its just mind blowing at the sheer, I don’t know what to call it stupidity??

      1. Exactly. Rooting for TOP4-finish is for clubs/fans like Atalanta, Roma etc. But with Milan it’s trophy or failure. A simple fact. All clubs are not created equal.

  8. “multi-billion dollar live event entertainment businesses”

    Cheap and fast entertainment on demand. Football itself is of secondary importance. The American dream in full swing baby.

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