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 withcalled ‘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.”