Maldini dissects Milan’s ‘fundamental’ recruitment strategy imposed after period of ‘austerity’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini has offered some insight into the vision that the Rossoneri have in their recruitment strategy.

American fund Elliott Management have concocted the recipe for returning to the top, and that it contains structural investments (such as the stadium project) and the consolidation of accounts.

For example, the wage bill has been slashed considerably from €140m when they took over the club to the current €90m, while the balance on the market is back in the green after six years (+25.3m in 2020-21).

Maldini gave a long interview to So Foot during which he discussed a number of topics including his past with the club, the present and the plans for the future, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews.

The director revealed his belief in Milan’s new strategy – one clearly centred around signing young players but also the right complimentary experienced elements too.

“First of all, when you have less time than Berlusconi’s first presidency could have had, for example, when you don’t have much choice, you have to be creative. In the first year, I was called by Leonardo, and we had a different vision of what the team should be like. The club made important investments in the first year, although when calculating income and expenses, the expense was not excessive for a club like Milan.

“Leo, out of economic necessity – Milan lost and continued to lose more than one hundred million a year – imposed austerity in signings and had planned to bet on young people to have a younger and more competitive team. The team I chose to work with me in all this (Zvonimir Boban and Ricky Massara) had in mind that working for Milan means respecting our history. We cannot build a project that does not have the idea, however small, to be successful in the short term.

“The challenge was therefore to become competitive again and have a financially virtuous club. And I must say that today we have found that balance. Milan has lowered the average age of the players, it is the youngest team in Italy, one of the youngest teams in Europe.

“The road has been drawn. In all this, the experience of those who have played serves not to buy a player just because they are young, but also to be careful to have guides, more experienced players able to lead the youngest. And this is fundamental.”

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini