CM: Comolli links with Milan – his background including Liverpool and Spurs spells

By Oliver Fisher -

The arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has all the potential to mark a new era at AC Milan, and there could well be the arrival of another new and important figure.

As write, the Swede has been Gerry Cardinale’s advisor, the Milan management seem to be in a phase of profound restructuring. The recent links with Jovan Kirovski, the former Los Angeles Galaxy chief and person close to Ibra, show this.

The new name, or rather the name that is back in the news given that it was discussed even a year ago – a few months after the change of ownership from Elliott Management to RedBird Capital – and even a couple of weeks ago, is that of Damien Comolli.

He is a figure with thirty years of experience in the world of football. Born in 1971 in France, Comolli coached Monaco’s youth team and then dedicates himself to a life behind the desk, or rather away from the field.

He worked as a scout at Arsenal between 1996 and 2004, contributing to three Premier League titles (including that of the famous Invincibles, 2003-04) and the arrival of players such as Kolo Touré, Eboué and Clichy.

Then he began working as a sporting director, twice at Saint-Etienne and in between at Tottenham, where he brought in none other than Luka Modric in 2008. He then moved on to Liverpool where he remained until 2012 bringing in, among others, Jordan Henderson and Luis Suarez.

Then he stopped for six years, except for a brief period in Turkey at Galatasaray, and in 2020 he entered the RedBird galaxy as the new president of Toulouse.

Making every decision based on data and statistics: this is the prerogative that within two years of RedBird’s entry into Toulouse’s shareholding and the appointment of Comolli as club president, led the club to its return to the top flight in France.

A year later, they won the Coupe de France which earned them qualification for the Europa League, thanks to Dallinga’s goals and the dribbling of the Moroccan Aboukhlal. His experience and knowledge make him an ideal candidate for the role of CEO of a club like Milan.

It must be said that not everything Comolli got his hands on turned to gold. He brought Modric to Tottenham, and with him Bentley, Assou-Ekotto and Berbatov, but had several clashes with the coaches (Martin Jol, Juande Ramos and Gus Poyet) over transfer visions that were not shared.

In his second experience at Saint-Etienne he was accused, after his move to Liverpool, by president Caiazzo of having caused the club’s financial problems: “He spent €22m on seven players, of which only one plays regularly in first team. We gave him the keys to the club but now we are in difficulty.

“He prefers big and strong players, he does better if he has more liquidity to operate with, so Liverpool is better suited to him.”

In addition to Suarez and Henderson at Liverpool there was Carroll (at the time the most expensive Englishman ever), Downing and Josè Enrique.

Now the possibility of Milan, which compared to Toulouse is a bit the same step that was from Saint-Etienne to Liverpool: will he be able, if necessary, to do even better?


Tags AC Milan Damien Comolli
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