Gazidis stresses importance of UCL to Milan: “The difference between a promotion or a relegation”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis has once again emphasised how important the Champions League and the eventual opening of a new stadium are for the club’s medium and long-term visions.

Gazidis is currently present in Dubai where he spoke on the EXPO stage about development and sustainability for the world of football, and in particular how it relates to Milan who have had plenty of challenges since he was appointed by Elliott Management.

“I had a unique career in football, which began in 1994 in the United States to be able to organise the MLS. In 2019 I went to Arsenal, as chief executive, alongside Arsene Wenger in the new stadium, the Emirates Stadium. Three years ago I had the honour of arriving at Milan, which was going through a bad period. Milan is a global brand that has millions of fans: there was no better project for me,” he said (via

It has been stressed time and time again that Milan are currently being held back by the iconic but now outdated San Siro, with a brighter future awaiting when a new stadium is opened, and Gazidis is a big driver behind this vision.

“We must build a new stadium. The new stadiums are accessible to all. The transformation into the Premier League stadiums has radically changed English football, becoming a sort of Super League,” he said.

“Italian football has fallen because it did not invest in infrastructure. Building a new green and sustainable stadium in Milan is extraordinary and it is essential to return to the top: both on and off the pitch.”

Another point that has been hammered home by the Rossoneri leadership is how important repeated qualification for the Champions League is for the club’s revenues.

“Being in the Champions League or not entering it is an important obstacle for the clubs. It is as important for us as the difference between a promotion or a relegation can be for others,” he said.

Finally, Gazidis rounded off his talk by discussion the importance of economic sustainability within the game, given how so many clubs – including Milan, Inter and Juventus – are racking up huge losses.

“I believe that green and cultural sustainability is the future of our football. People are passionate on a personal and emotional level. We must be able to acquire this passion from the fans. However, this central aspect of football will be lost if the economic and financial aspects concerning both transfers and engagements were not kept under control.”

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