Longoni criticises Milan for hiring a cheaper coach than Pioli: “So much for growth”

By Isak Möller -

Paulo Fonseca appears to be just one step away from replacing Stefano Pioli at AC Milan, which has caused heavy debate among the fans. The journalist and pundit Andrea Longoni believes this would be taking a step back. 

Pioli coached his final game for Milan last night and spoke directly to the fans during the farewell ceremony afterwards. The Rossoneri have a friendly against Roma scheduled for next week but Daniele Bonera is expected to be the manager for that one.

In early June, Fonseca should be announced as the new manager of Milan and this decision has upset some of the fans. In his latest editorial for MilanNews, Longoni questioned the direction of the Rossoneri’s project by opting for a cheaper coach than Pioli.

“It’s sad to note that after four consecutive Champions League qualifications and a considerable increase in revenue, Milan will go from a coach with a salary of €4.5m to one who will get €3m, at most €3.5m. So much for the growth path and the much-vaunted desire to win,” he writes.

It remains to be seen if the Portuguese manager will indeed be the chosen one but it seems to be the case. Reinforcements will also be needed during the summer transfer window and the new manager will have to work closely with the management on that.

Tags AC Milan Paulo Fonseca Stefano Pioli


  1. When will people learn, football is not always about money, if that was the case man city and PSG would have had 10 UCL titles each, how many times has a coach who earns 1 million euro beaten a coach who earns 10 million, Fonseca will be an upgrade to Pioli, and he will look at and give our young players a chance, that is what will propel the club

    1. Doesn’t really matter when you have a management team of Cardinale, Furlani and MONEYBALL MONCADA.

      This team is about money making now. You don’t understand Moncada’s role. Winning matters to you, not them. Marketing and profit is their goal.

      1. Thats what happen if your owner is investment company. Their main objective is increasing value of their asset, winning throphy is just a bonus for them.

      2. You don’t understand how businesses turn a profit. They turn a profit by being successful, by raising the profile of their brand, that doesn’t happen by being content with a top 4 finish. That will only happen is Milan are successful on the pitch, have high profile, high value players and a new stadium. Nothing Rebird have done so far indicates that is not their intention.

        1. You also raise your brand value by buying cheap talent and grow their value. And that seems to be the business plan of the RedBird.

    2. you are stupid, football is not about money but bigger money means bigger chance to success. its like goint to school doesnt guarantee you success but you must study in school to make your chance of success bigger

      if you talk about PSG, you can talk about manchester city and real madrid

  2. In my opinion it was better option if Pioli stayed than to hire Fonseca. It definitely does not feel like upgrade. I would be surprised if Fonseca is still coach after half of.the next season. But because the management lacks ambition j3 can still be coach of Milan are not far behind for CL place. I don’t know the dynamics inside but Ibra.is starting to disappoint.me.

  3. 1. The salary doesn’t really matter much.
    2. This idiot has no right to say anything. He was one of the many idiots clamoring for a change of coach, pushing the Conte banner, for no other reason than for sensationalism. So you’re going to sit there and take what you get: another year zero.

  4. It’s funny how people are treating the new coach same as they treated Pioli when he was signed, but now they want that same Pioli they didn’t want to stay.
    If you think Pioli is a good coach, and he was welcomed with #PioliOut, shouldn’t you wait and see how the new coach will do before you say that Milan will struggle under Fonseca.
    BTW Fonseca comes in with better credentials than Pioli when he was hired.
    Same was happening last summer with most of the signings. Pulisic was called a bust and bought only for shirt sales but was arguably Milan’s best player this season.
    Time will tell of Fonseca is a good choice or not, but Pioli had to go.

    1. It’s quite obvious that no one here “treats bad” Fonseca, he did nothing wrong and anyone in his place would take up job at Milan when such opportunity would be available.

      All these badmouthing and protests (hashtags, comments on Instagram and other Milan Social Accounts) are targetting management, to change the decision and hire someone better. That’s just it.

    2. 100%!!!

      I don’t know that this is a step backwards per se. But this is NOT a step forward, and that’s what we are all asking for.

    3. “Pulisic was called a bust and bought only for shirt sales but was arguably Milan’s best player this season.”
      Maybe this is the hidden strategy !!!
      If all of those who were called a bust (Pioli, Pulisic, Giroud,…) managed to succeed, maybe the secret is to criticize the new appointed managers, players,..before they even start !
      (I’m not posting too quickly)

    4. It’s not about Fonseca or Lopetegui. It’s about bold statements from the management that we are ambitious but it’s not showing. Hiring a second tier coach, selling top player(s?) to « invest », keeping a salary cap that prevents us to attract top recruits or to keep our best players, speaking publicly about how we only aim at top 4. 7-time UCL winner and 19-time Serie A winner A.C. Milan deserves better, especially after clearing its debt, its recent triumph and development of world class players.

      1. Selling top player? So far they only sell tonali that have gambling addicted and they dodge the bullet doing that ( i dont know if they already know about tonali betting addicted or not ) . Look at paqueta ex ACM player also involved directly to betting and now facing charge 10 years sanction from EPL & UEFA. For Maignan or bennacer , i dont mind management sell one of them or maybe both because they are injury prone if that can make theo & leao stay atleast until their contract expire. Nonseca still not yet ACM coach , cannot judge him yet. I personally prefer italian coach like sarri or vicenzo italiano due to ACM success almost with italian coach , both have standard salary and not demanding expensive player like conte. For salary cap i hope they are willing increase from 7m euro nett leao to 8m euro nett so theo can renew, . About debt , red bird still have debt 600m euro to elliot thats why furlani still CEO to monitoring ACM cash flow. Furlani are elliot worker and cannot be sacked until redbird pay that 600m euro , furlani are the one setting the budget,salary cap etc

      2. You expect too much brother. Italaian football is not really profitable and your owner is investment company, not some random billionaire who splash money for fun.

  5. I feel like we could have done a lot better than Fonseca, some very good managers are available right now but money isn’t an issue here. They will be paying more than what they paid to Pioli.

  6. He’s got a point. Management is being very cheap on this one. With the number of exciting coaches available this summer, the way was basically paved for Milan to get a big name. Barcelona for example, went out and got Hansi Flick. They’ve got less money to spend than Milan, so why did he pick Barcelona? Because of ambition. Barcelona exists to win trophies and Flick knows that the club will operate as such. Meanwhile in AC Milan, a club just as prestigious and more economically prosperous, goes out and hire the cheapest coach available because he was the only one who’d accept mediocrity. A non-winning mentality. When they got Pioli a few years ago, Milan was in shambles and could not attract anything better. We needed stability and we got that. But now the club needs to take a step up. It’s the only time to do this. To then go out and choose Fonseca, who has failed in Italy already and managed to even screw things up at Lille… It’s such a looser signal to send out into the world. It’s like we are Roma or Atalanta. Big players will never come to Milan when this is what they see. And I won’t blame Theo for leaving either. He can see what everyone else does, and he knows the club won’t be going for the Champions League trophy until the Americans sell out…

    1. You are 100% right. That’s because people that are currently owning Milan are not interested in winning like fans are, they don’t have will to get 20th Scudetto or go for Europa League title (not to even mention Champions League one). All they want to do is to increase Milan’s value as a company/brand. Invest in young players, increse their value (and therefore club’s value) and after some time sell the club to some other investor to make a profit.

      For that they only want to keep what’s currently – top4 in Serie A and appearances in Champions League is enough. That’s why they don’t want guy like Conte, who would turn the table up and make a fuss when management won’t buy him top players. That’s why they also don’t want to risk with less experienced coaches like Motta or even De Zerbi. Fonseca is proven, has experience and guarantee of “good enough” results. He also knows his role and won’t be making any fuss with the management, he will just work with what he will have, because – true – he does not have a winning mentality, he just wants to do his job.

      Unforunately that seems to be the reality. It’s not all bad though, because by looking at past years and previous owners who wanted to spend 200mil in one Mercato to win everything instantly and therefore destroyed club’s financial situation, doing what current owners are doing makes a bit more sense in long term perspective. Especially with current Financial Fair Play rules, they can’t just go and spend freely 500 milion euro without covering that properly. But for us it means that it will take some time (several years) to get to the place we will want to see this club.

  7. This is gonna be a long season up next.. Inter with ‘not Pippo’ Inzaghi, Juve with Motta, napoli with Conte (seems like it), and Milan with Fonseca lolz.. wild card Roma with ‘not the racer’ Rossi and Atalanta will disappear at some point afer starting strong..

    1. Top4 will be a blood bath. Worst case scenario, Milan ends up 5th… I don’t know that Fonseca bests Motta, Inzaghi, Gasperini or Conte…

      1. On the other hand it will all come down to how fast or effective the new coaches can make their teams gel.. inter won’t need to do much, but juve and napoli are in for a total system overhauls.

        Atalanta if they bring some reinforcements instead of selling could very well challenge for the scudeto imao. They got a nice balanced squad

  8. In other news, M’Baye Niang saved Empoli from relegation almost single handedly. He had this goal and another late one in a previous game. Bit of a local hero now.

    Remember him hahah?

    1. Na, we got a better team than that. 2nd or 3rd. Scudetto? Out of the question imo. Have confidence. I think Fonseca will be good.

  9. From all these news it seems to be deal done already, as there is not much we can do it with, let’s just have hope he will be a good addition to the team. As shown with Lopetegui protests, fans cannot really change the plan for growth that RedBird has for this club – as Fonseca seems to have similar manager profile to Lopetegui.

    From the positive sides, Fonseca showed in Shakhtar that if he has good players he can arrange them well and stimulate to win – won 3 consecutive times Ukrainian League. Truth is as well that when he was in Roma he had really mediocre team and even after big shot like Jose Mourinho took over that team and had budget for likes such as Dybala, Lukaku, Smalling or Abraham – he didn’t really do anything more in Serie A than Fonseca did (unable to go higher than top5). Roma is just a big name without good foundations or players, just like Milan was between 2013-2018.

    Let’s hope with good Mercato – I hope for not only young players, but also older, experienced ones with bigger names to fill shoes for Giroud and Kjaer – Fonseca will have some ideas and would be able to do what he did in Ukraine.

    1. Oh wow, he wont 3 times… the UKRAINIAN league??? Great, the Ukrainian league is known to be much better than the EPL and Serie A, right? No? Oh…

      You are talking about the guy who just placed 4th in the 5th best European league (France’s League1) who supposedly is an upgrade over the guy who just placed 2nd in the 2nd best European league (Serie A; check out the UEFA coefficient).

      No, HonestGuy. Fonseca is a mediocre loser. We won’t do well with him. Mark my words.

      1. Pioli had a journeyman track record, was often sacked after only one season and had a 34% win rate with Fiorentina. Fonseca has a better record than Pioli did prior to joining us. How would you know?

        Prepared to whip out a crystal ball?

      2. Your comment makes zero sense. Lille has the 6th most expensive squad in the league. How are you expecting them to finish top 2 lol. Finishing fourth is an achievment.
        Another example this is Roma points after Foncesca
        2021-2022 : Pts63 W18 D9 L11
        2022-2023 : Pts63 W18 D9 L11
        2023-2024 : Pts63 W18 D9 L11
        While with Foncesca he got 70 and 62 Points with a squad that was much worse than that. The only thing mediocre here are your comments

      3. @Luigi, I’m by far not the person that likes the idea of hiring Fonseca, if you check out my comments under past Fonseca-related threads you would see that. I think this is worst option from ones that Milan had.

        So now with that context, circling back to my comment here – as there is nothing we can do with it, let’s hope we are all wrong and he will actually be a person that will be able to do something nice with Milan.

        There is one thing I don’t agree with you about though – comparing that to Pioli. Pioli winning Scudetto and current Pioli are two different coaches. He finished 2nd, true, but with really solid squad that Milan has. Yet he failed on every other single path there was – CL, Europa League, Coppa Italia. He lost 5 times in a row derby which is utterly ridiculous. He does not have any more fresh ideas for that team, can’t stimulate them to win anymore, some matches are absolutely hard to watch and some they only win by individual skills of Leao. He is repeating the same patterns hoping they would work this time (and as Simone Inzaghi has shown, they won’t work, he reads Pioli like an open book). He is done here, and change is needed.

  10. Why is no mention of En Neysri as replacement of Giroud. He is the perfect replacement of ollie, he’s not too expensive, 26 yrs old.

  11. You know what worries me about any next manager. The last game showed me this team really had family values and every single player admired pioli. With any new manager will we keep those family values?

  12. they want to hire a coach that will give our youths chance and sell the big boys…since we want d youths to play its a big profit for d management…

  13. All teams will inevitably strengthen. Roma started playing better, Atalanta is coming back to their own, with Conte you expect Napoli to recover, Motta is likely to improve Juve…so top4 is not so automatic anymore. I’m sure Napoli, Lazio would not want a repeat of this season. And what is our strategy to strengthen, get a coach that has some Serie a experience and he doesn’t mind fielding youngsters. Nobody claps when your team is the youngest in the top 5 leagues. There is no prize for having Serie A experience. And playing 433 or 4231 is certainly not an added advantage against your competitors. The worst we can do is to box a coach into some system and stifle him. When and how is he expected to put his print on the team if he is alright being typecast…we need to tread carefully when making an appointment. I would have preferred a wildcard like Bayern is doing with Kompany ( God knows what led them to this) then a proven nobody.

  14. I’ve always disagreed with letting Pioli go, I think he did a good job this season, but this argument is nonsense. We’ve paid Pioli a big sum to leave so it’s still at a net cost to the club. And looking at other teams….

    Are Juventus being cheap swapping Allegri for Motta?

    Are Roma being cheap swapping Mourinho for de Rossi?

    No, they’re making the decisions they feel are right for their teams.

    1. On the last two months we won 2 games out of 10..

      If that is a good job idk what you think a bad job looks like

    2. Milan has a really nice squad now. I can even say that with this squad many coaches that failed in the past would now achieve similar result with that players – Pippo Inzaghi, Gattuso (almost went into top4 with 2x worse players), Mihajlovic etc.

      Pioli got eliminated from Coppa Italia, did not even manage to get out of CL group, eliminated in Europa league, “finished 2nd” in Serie A but also lost Scudetto race to Inter somewhere around January. Not to mention last year he actually finished 5th and went into Champions league spot only because Juventus got minus points. Plus creme de la creme – losing 5 times in a row to Inter. Sorry but no, this man is done with Milan, he just does not have any more ideas to put into that team.

    3. Come on dude. Baldy had to go. 1 season too late. Having said that. Fonseca is definitely not a proper replacement. We were 2nd this year because other big teams were weak and in muddy waters. Next season will be different. Napoli, juve, inter, atalanta, roma will be definitely stronger or proper selvs. Let’s see if fonseca will be up to the task. ( i dont think he will be.)

      1. But Fonseca was always the likely level of replacement – or a Conte (proven disruption) or Motta (unproven past one season). But no-one guaranteed success.

        My point (that everyone replying has ignored) is that the point made in the article is cow manure because it’ll still cost the club net money to make this change, so it must be something they believe in.

  15. I know that there are plenty of “fans” on this forum who think the problem is “the Americans,” but most of them seem not to understand that Redbird didn’t clear Milan’s debts, they just consolidated them, and “Mister Moneyball” isn’t even a Redbird employee, he works for the REAL owners (until Redbird pays them the hundreds of millions of dollars they owe).

    That said, the solution to one of our problems (two, really) could be another American. Weston McKennie seems to be unwanted at Juventus (who sits a player on the bench for the last two matches of the season when they’re tied for the assist lead in the league?). He plays box to box, but he’s really a defensive midfielder who, as I mentioned, tied Leao and Dybala for most assists in Serie A, AND he can be had on the cheap, AND he and Pulisic already know each other and have the sort of relationship from the USMNT that it can take years to develop at the club level.

    As far as Fonseca goes, if he is the choice, we need to support him until he shows whether or not he will work out, but he is hardly an inspiring choice, and I really would have kept Pioli if I knew Fonseca was the alternative, even though I wasn’t a big fan of Pioli.

  16. Longoni is a firecracker sometimes. Honestly can’t compare Fonseca with baldy just yet. I hope Fonseca will be an upgrade. But the truth is he is getting paid less than baldy. Usually better coaches get paid more not less. I’ve never followed all the games where Fonseca coached so i don’t know him all too well but he check boxes are against him. Baldy had to go ( no doubt about it) but fonseca as our new coach is not a good choice, hope im wrong. Amateur menagment, thats a fact.

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