Cardinale confirms plan to continue sustainable spending and exploit ‘best opportunity’ for stadium

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan owner Gerry Cardinale has revealed his desire to get the team performing consistency and confirmed that he will continue the path of sustainable spending started by Elliott Management.

Cardinale spoke on stage at the Business of Football event put on by the Financial Times and he revealed some of his aims for Milan starting with whether or not he plans to push the boat out and have a big-spending summer window, with his comments relayed by Luca Bianchin.

On the modus operandi in the transfer market: “I entered sport with George Steinbrenner [owner of the Yankees from 1973 to his death in 2010], I learned a lot. The real secret is that you can’t buy championships.

“Our job is to reduce the unpredictability to always perform and the value of the club grows. Everyone wants to win, but if the same wins, what would happen for the ecosystem? I want everyone to compete. What you can control is consistency and this is what changes everything.”

On Elliott Management: “I have great respect for the Singer family, I didn’t know them before. I was impressed by what they have done in four years, also because they had no experience in sports. They are one of the most structured funds in the world.

“One of the points of the business plan is continuity with Elliott, RedBird has 100% of the shares. To go ahead and get to the next step, we hired two top managers who come from Elliott but who offered themselves by raising their hand and I’m talking about Furlani, who replaces Ivan Gazidis who has done great work, as CEO and Cocirio as CFO.

“It doesn’t concern me, I have talented managers around me. There are people who arrive in sport with guns blazing. I don’t tell Pioli who to field. I don’t think it’s rocket science, we don’t cure cancer, but we have to do things right.

“We exploit data, I think the way we use it is different than usual. It’s about efficiency in terms of goals, and how the players position themselves p to increase their impact on goal-scoring chances.”

The newspaper headlines have been dominated in the last couple of days by the news that Milan seemingly want to break away from the project set up in 2019 with Inter to build a new stadium next to the current San Siro.

Instead, the vast majority of sources are stating that the Rossoneri are pushing ahead with plans to build their own stadium given the urgency to exploit the revenues it would bring, with La Maura hippodrome – less than 2km from San Siro – among the sites.

On the importance of a new stadium: “When you look at the Milan brand and you look at where Serie A should be, where all 20 owners of Serie A teams should be, an area that is not used and is not exploited properly to bring events to the fans. 

“They should have access to a ‘world class’ facility. We are evaluating different sites to build the new stadium, including an area near San Siro, to understand what is possible. We are doing it together with the Council of Milan and the Lombardy Region. 

“I have to give credit to LeBron James who told me there was a piece missing from my vision, and that is culture. In the USA culture is ‘urban’, in Italy it is ‘fashion’. We are in Milan and we cannot bring one of the Live Nation shows, one of our partners, to the fans and enthusiasts because there is no where to do it.”

On the limits of San Siro: “San Siro was built in 1926 and remodelled over the years. I mean that we want Milan and Serie A to return to the top levels, where I believe they deserve to be, we need to do a 360-degree debrief. 

“And to get back to the top you need infrastructure. I want to give our fans a top product. We’ll see if we can find the right opportunity. However, it must work for the fans, for the administration of the Council of Milan and for the Lombardy Region, for Serie A, as well as for us.”

On sharing the stadium with Inter: “We have experiences with Yankees Stadium, Dallas Cowboys Stadium. We have experience building stadiums and differentiating the various revenues from this type of infrastructure. 

“I’m a big believer in being independent, but right now there’s nothing we shut out regardless. But you know, I think that Inter at the moment is thinking about what their future will be and we are focusing on ours and what can be the best solution for us.”

On the Super League: “The project failed and there’s no reason to talk about it. The point is, however, that we need to understand why it was proposed, there is a difference between England and the rest of Europe.

“The Super League was badly structured. But putting a competitive balance is the right thing. I want all of Serie A to be competitive, the question is how to do it: if Serie A puts its things in order together with LaLiga and Ligue 1, it can work together to do things right.”

On not being there every Sunday at the stadium: It’s not about me. ‘Personalised ownership’ makes no sense to me. If everyone does their job we will be successful, but everyone has to do their job. We have to bring a team mentality.

“They are on the phone every day with my managing team, I wake up with this thought and I fall asleep with this thought. Being seen doesn’t change, my job is to bring the resources to compete.

“No one is more competitive than me, I would like to win the Scudetto and the Champions League every year, but we can’t control everything and it’s a team effort, not just mine.”

Tags AC Milan Gerry Cardinale


  1. Growth organically is a fair call in a natural environment. Unfortunately the clubs we play against have a different view on growth and we will be left behind in the long term with small budget spending.

  2. The Yankees always buy Championships lol. They are always one of the top 2-3 spenders in MLB and have a reputation of outspending other teams and “buying” championships – so not sure what he is talking about. Build us our own new stadium and not in 30 years. Then we can talk

    1. That intreview is so confusing how can you compare Yankees model with this, Yankees are literaly PSG of baseball world haha.
      “Our job is to reduce the unpredictability to always perform and the value of the club grows. Everyone wants to win, but if the same wins, what would happen for the ecosystem? I want everyone to compete. What you can control is consistency and this is what changes everything.”
      What does that even mean you are a club owner not a leauge owner so you are saying we will not spend so Lazio can compete ??

      And Leborn just stfu you are a NBA player ,not a market expert.

      1. “And Leborn just stfu you are a NBA player ,not a market expert.”

        Is anyone here a market expert by trade? Should everyone here just stfu too? 🙂

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