CM: Economic growth and data analysis to be at the centre of Cardinale’s Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan’s resurgence is not just taking place on the field but off it too, as the accounts continue to improve while the club move into a new ownership. report how Milan have a constantly improving balance sheet that has the potential to get even better, and the desire to implant a business model typical of US culture can certainly help that.

Such a strategy has already produced results in the two clubs in which RedBird has invested – Liverpool and Toulouse – with the latter having return to Ligue 1 with a painstaking application of the Moneyball method that Gerry Cardinale hinted he will use at Milan.

“Everyone uses statistical data, but we think we have an advantage in the different way in which we use them. It is how RedBird uses data, rather than its access, that sets RedBird apart,” he said.

“It worked well for Liverpool and Toulouse, and that’s what RedBird wants to bring to Milan. It is not about using data or not, but about combining it with instinct. RedBird has already tackled the issue within Milan.”

Cardinale was present during the Leaders in Sport panel in London and he spoke in detail about the business model he intends to propose in Italy.

“To invest in European football it is essential to be financially responsible, this is the right approach to the transfer market and relegations,” he said. That means that to grow on the pitch, Milan must also grow financially and keep costs contained, which is where the scouting system comes into play.

Damien Comolli, president of Toulouse, recently revealed the potential in having a database that probes 70 different leagues and with an archive of several thousand players. What the French club can do today – considering the budget and the catchment area – can be amplified at Milan.

Identifying rising stars in advance of the competition is key, as is being ready for any eventuality, sourcing replacements when it becomes necessary to sell players, which creates a virtuous cycle of investment made for talents.

“The purchase of Milan is one of the most exciting things we have done. Our interest in the club and its brand was also about Serie A and what we think are growth opportunities for this league. I think our activities in building AC Milan should have a spin-off effect in helping to lift everything in Serie A,” Cardinale said. Now, it is time to put plans into action.

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