It will be a pleasant return to the United State for Gerry Cardinale who will not have to suffer the turbulence of having seen a Milan side in crisis thanks to last night’s win against Spurs.
La Gazzetta dello Sport writes how Cardinale’s appearance at San Siro has become a lucky charm given he saw the 3-2 win over Inter on 3 September in the first derby, the 2-0 win over Juventus on 8 October and the victory over Spurs. The only shadow came away from the Meazza, on 5 October at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea won 3-0.
There remains some mystery surrounding whether the RedBird Capital Partners frontman will show up for the return leg in north London, but either way he knows that the team have done the first part of a two-legged tie that is worth millions in prize money if the team get to the quarter-finals.
Beyond the UEFA prize money, it is likely that the ticket sales would again exceed the €9m recorded last night, which is a the all-time record for a football match in Italy. These are injections of liquidity that are good for the balance sheet and in view of the summer market, even if the budget for that will not be huge.
The management model remains the same as under Elliott Management: now, as before, Milan’s majority stake is managed by an entity that handles mostly money from other financiers. Cardinale meanwhile knows that a victory like last night’s is the perfect boost for the club’s brand globally.
Returning to prominence in the most illustrious European competition by defeating a noble representative of the richest league on the planet is a formidable assist in commercial terms and visibility.
Gerry once again passed through Milan without leaving any official traces – zero statements, zero photos, strict privacy – but he did speak with the management, above all Paolo Maldini, and when he left the San Siro last night he seemed in good spirits.
As for the negative period before, the reflection from Cardinale was decidedly calm as he is familiar with sport at the highest levels and knows that ups and downs are not uncommon.
Finally, probably the most significant event was the confirmation of the trust placed in the club’s sporting department and their ability to carry the team forward.
I love AC Milan