Gazidis and Scaroni explain how Milan will aim to follow Liverpool, Real Madrid in path back to the top

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis and club president Paolo Scaroni have once again outlined the important of building a new stadium sooner rather than later.

The two clubs want to construct new state-of-the-art home as was revealed late last year, with Italian firm Manica and American giants Populous the two competing firms trying to land the project.

We reported back in February via our then-correspondent Vito Angele that talks were progressing in the right direction regarding the development, with a green light expected.

Now, Gazidis and Scaroni have given an interview to the well-known British newspaper Daily Mail, discussing the new stadium project and the possibilities that it will bring to the city.

The former began by discussing the significance of the current Meazza stadium.

“San Siro is an iconic stadium. There is a never-ending story in that building and we have a lot of respect for it,” he said (via MilanNews).

“The best way to honour the history of the two clubs and of San Siro is to create a future for the club that will embrace and engage the next generation of fans and San Siro is not equipped for that future as several facilities are not what we would like, an example being bathrooms for the disabled.

“San Siro generates many memories and emotions, but the new stadium will offer a better environment to watch the games. We will add everything that a modern stadium has.

“When the fans visit the new stadium, they will understand that the right move has been made. Until then, obviously, the focus is on nostalgia for San Siro.”

On the decision not to modernise the ‘old’ San Siro, and to build an entirely new structure, Gazidis added: “We would probably end up spending a lot of money to fix a stadium that wouldn’t be anywhere near as well built and as good as the new stadium could be.

“The renovation would make San Siro unrecognisable in any case compared to the current facility, so, given that there is this incredible opportunity to build a new stadium together, why not do it? The new San Siro will not only be a beacon for Italian football, but one of, if not the best stadium in Europe.”

On the decision to collaborate with Inter: “Sharing the stadium allows us to do things that are not seen anywhere else. It is truly a unique situation to have two such big clubs in such a big city, such an international city where football is truly the dominant social and cultural experience. Doing this together really allows us to build a stadium that will be a world leader.”

Gazidis then reflected on the current state of Milan as a club in general, insisting that the goal is to return to the top of European football.

“It takes many things to get back to the top, but the stadium, for me, is the fundamental element, even if it is not the only one.

“We have a global brand. The club has been through a tough time in recent years, but the brand is still immensely strong. Milan are one of the five biggest clubs in the world in terms of fans, so we have to go back to being protagonists not only in Italy but also in Europe.”

The words of the former Arsenal chief were echoed by president Scaroni.

“I think a new stadium is the only way in which our club can once again challenge the top clubs at European level, teams of the caliber of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich,” he said.

“These clubs earn over €100million in revenue from their stadium. How can you compete in a world where we have Financial Fair Play if you don’t have the same source of income?

“If we had had €70million more than the €34million of stadium-to-season revenue, multiplied by the five years since I’ve been at Milan, we would have got €350million in additional revenues.

“I don’t know what the owners could have done with this money, but this is the fuel you need to improve the team.

“From my point of view, what I like about the San Siro is that you have a good view of the pitch, but everything else is rather negative and outdated. If the queen comes to see Milan, we would only have one room suitable for her.”

Tags AC Milan Ivan Gazidis Paolo Scaroni