ESPN: Why Milan pursued the Super League – ownership situation, fan frustration and the future

By Oliver Fisher -

With the Super League saga continuing to rumble on despite its apparent demise, ESPN have taken a look at each club and why they might have decided to join.

The report begins by discussing the club’s owners Elliott Management, an American hedge fund who loaned money to previous owner Yonghong Li after he bought the company from Silvio Berlusconi, but seized control of the Rossoneri when he defaulted on the repayments

They add that the club is financially secure under the control of the US fund as they continue to pump money in. The club confirmed net losses of €195m in October 2020 for the 2019-20 season, largely due to the Covid pandemic which hit revenues hard, but more positive results financially are expected next season having been allowed back into European competition and with a top four place now firmly possible.

In a section titled “Main issues between fans and owners?”, ESPN highlight how supporters are ‘unhappy that the contracts of star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu are both up in June 2021’ and that neither appear close to re-signing.

Moreover, they add that there is some concern Fikayo Tomori and Diogo Dalot are only here on loan while the signing of Mario Mandzukic was a gamble has not paid off. Then there is the uncertainty of the stadium situation, as Milan and Inter want to build a new home but the financial situation surrounding the latter is prohibitive at the moment.

Under the heading “What motivated them to join the ESL?”, ESPN cites the idea that Milan have become disillusioned with the way Serie A is run and its revenues are managed, given CEO Luigi de Siervo basically told clubs there would be a €500m hit during Covid.

“For a hedge fund invested in stabilising the financial side of the club and growing its value, the Super League allowed a clear path to growing the brand,” they add.

What’s next for the owners and fans? Well, the Curva Sud want to see proactive change from all this as they called out how nobody has helped stop the rise in ticket prices, the death of the old European Cup, the rise of super agents, astronomical wages or the price of TV rights. With Paolo Maldini the technical director though, the feeling is that the club is in safe hands.

Tags AC Milan European Super League
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