Gazidis explains Milan’s blueprint for a return to the top: Data analysis, scouting and Maldini

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan’s Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis has stressed the important of building a competitive squad while keeping costs ‘under control’.

Milan’s owners Elliott Management Corporation took control of the club in 2018 after a turbulent time under Yonghong Li’s ownership, one which saw a big amount of money spent in the first summer on the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez and Andrea Silva among others.

Since Elliott took the reins, their strategy has been a much more sensible one as they have focused on targeted investments on young players that will only increase in value on the balance sheets, with the right experience added to balance the group.

This was the case in the summer window as four talented young players arrived in Brahim Diaz, Sandro Tonali, Jens Petter Hauge and Diogo Dalot.

Interviewed by Leaders in Sport, Gazidis revealed how a four-point strategy being deployed should hopefully pave the way to bring a competitive Milan back among Europe’s elite.

“We must have a strategy that keeps our costs under control, while improving our performance on the pitch, through the use of of data analysis, scouting and through our resources, like Paolo Maldini,” he said (via MilanNews).

“In addition, we need a vertical football with young and technically strong players. It is said that the Italian league is for old players, but we have a team with a very low average age and with an age leader like Ibrahimovic.

“It’s a really young team. Last week we played in the Europa League qualifiers with a team average age of 23 years. This is a different type of approach and backed up with sports science, and we’re relaunching Milan Lab 2.0. The football side is a very clear direction.”

On point two – the stadium project – he added: “The second pillar is the stadium. It’s so necessary in Italian football. We have the opportunity to have the best stadium in the world here.

On point three, modernising the club: “We do interesting things for our digital presence, like during COVID we produced an event with Roc Nation called ‘From Milan with Love’ which actually won LEADERS Sports Award as the best live experience.

“We also launched our new app last year. We did a digital tour of China that got 20 million impressions. We got the highest engagements on Instagram. There’s a lot happening on the digital side and also with new sponsors coming in.”

On point four, the football landscape: “Times of crisis can produce change and we want to be at the centre of that discussion; the centre of shaping the environment for football.

“So we need to have a strong presence with European Club association, UEFA, FIFA and the other bodies here in Italy; the league, the federation, shaping the game for the future.

“These four things are what our plan is based on. We got a very strong ownership and we’re convinced that we can put this club back onto the right path. It won’t be instant, it will take some time. But, the potential is enormous. The global reach of this club is enormous.”

Tags AC Milan Ivan Gazidis

2 Comments

  1. Evert says:

    I was one amongst many tweeting #Gazidisout in the beginning. At that time some strange decissions were made (eg. the Boban situation) to spark this anger. When reading this and looking at the progress the club has made recently, I have to admit that this is a strong tactical plan. It’s not only because of the recent good run in results, that will end one day anyway, but because it actually is good management, which our club has been lacking foe years. The fact that we didn’t sign an extra player in this mercato probably has most supporters fuming again, but looking at it with the brains and not the heart it was a smart business decission not to pay more than necessary now and hold out for something better. The current situation of football will eventually turn into our favor with this strategy. The current squad should be strong enough to reach our goals this year so we can continue to build. It can’t come all at once, but when following this path I believe it will come as soon as possible built on a strong structure that guarantees us a bright future. I will stand by this even if we lose the derby.

    1. Vijo Kurien says:

      Exactly….

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