CorSport: No extra budget to correct mistakes – Maldini and Massara under the microscope

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan have found themselves in the difficult position of being unable to spend in the January window having used their budget in the summer, but having had little return from those signings.

Today’s edition of Corriere dello Sport (via PianetaMilan) begins by stating that Gerry Cardinale gave a precise instruction regarding the transfer budget for the 2022-23 season: a net spend of €50m and no more, which was spent in the summer and represented the highest net spend in Serie A.

Napoli for example spent more but they also sold players for big sums and thus gave their balance sheets some profits. Looking back to Zaniolo, Roma were asking for €60m to sell him in the summer and now the demands have been halved, but Milan have exhausted their budget by staking everything on Charles De Ketelaere.

The Belgian has not impressed so far and precisely for this reason Milan attempted to buy Zaniolo on loan with a conditional obligation to buy that would be triggered upon qualification for the Champions League, but the figure for the buy-out would not have exceeded €20-25m.

The American ownership do not consider it correct to provide extra resources to repair potential market errors from the summer, because having a budget means respecting it and making the allocated resources bear fruit.

None of the players bought in the summer have been able to make a contribution so far, so much so that Pioli has practically only used the players who won the Scudetto last year. However, many of these, due to injuries and post-World Cup fatigue, are no longer performing as they did at the beginning of the season.

The lack of depth and reliable fresh legs is hurting Milan and while Maldini and Massara have always been praised in the last three years for the way they operate on the market, the growth has stopped at present and the results are lacking.

The crux of the Maldini-Massara renewal resulted in the granting of decision-making autonomy to the technical area within the budgets set by financial planning, but replacing a method with individual skills is always very risky.

Tags AC Milan


  1. This is absolutely shambolic. You cannot have a team of 11 starters and having also depth in the squad with such a limited budget such as Milan had last summer. Yes M&M could have done certain things differently but buying young players and investing in them to then sell them later for a profit also takes time. Additionally, the manager must have the courage to play certain young individuals who can show promise, especially to rest certain players that have been working overtime this season.

  2. I get what’s happening, but it seems a little unfair to put it all on M&M. Milan biggest problems of late has been the salary cap, ,it’s virtually impossible to renew any of our stars with that cap. Which meant we lost players. That’s on ownership. However where I blame M&M is on their naivety. If a player doesn’t look like their going to renew FFS SELL THEM. We are doing a poor job of selling players, also because buy players with little to no resale value, or let the starts walk for free. Maldini has to be better at selling players….

    With that being said, not fixing our current squad problems may end up damaging our teams in a long run. There might not be any ucl next year, which will further affect our books. Boy are we in a pickle.

  3. Maldini and Massara under microscope???
    That’s unbelievable and ridiculous if it stands.
    If I was Maldini I would’ve left Milan. There is no point in trying to convince Redbird and Cardinale for transfer budget.
    These Yankee guys think Milan are a team like the NY Yankees or the Red Sox.
    These 🤡 have no idea about European football and especially Italian.

    P.S There is no need to put Maldini, Massara under the scope….As things are going it’s a matter of time for them to resign. And Moncada will follow them no doubt. Let’s se Cardinale then.

    1. Another clueless fvcks who thinks a new owner will spend hundreds millions euros on transfer market while Milan doesn’t own their own stadium to generate revenue and still under heavy surveilance from UEFA. SMH.

    2. Call it what you want but the owners do know about finances and the finances of our fine club are still f*ed until UEFA clears us from the FFP-issues. Until the finances are fixed this is the situation and no Arab money would/could fix it.

      Thank Berlusconi & the Chinese for that.

      And yes, M&M are partially to blame here. They failed miserably with the summer mercato. There’s no denying on that. But also, Pioli is to blame too. He can’t get anything out of the players. And obviously all the players are to blame too. Owners? Well… Not much they can do. Glad they did intervene on the Zaniolo deal though since he would have been another expensive flop.

    3. We get it, you are prejudicial and xenophobic! How your comments pass through here I don’t know..I cringe every time ppl say Y***s..have some basic respect. It’s offensive and derogatory in your usage.
      You certainly DO NOT represent the average Milan fan. Milan is one of the biggest international brands in football. You should welcome that because it’s been a huge untapped source of income which your buddy Silvio didn’t manage to exploit in all his years at the helm. We have a different owner now and different financial parameters. Learn to live with it

  4. I will put most of the blame on M and M. Without being sentimental, the time of billionaire owners throwing money into a football club is long gone and clubs are now forced to spend what they make. On the sporting side, Milan is loosing alot because we cannot sell even a single player for 15M, but want to spend 30M for a player. M and M have allowed quality players leave for free even when they know they cannot match the salary demands and wait less than 2 years to the end of their contracts to start proper negotiations. We are lucky Bennacer agreed to renew cos M and M waste time. If a player is refusing to sign 2.5 years to the end of a contract, sell when it’s 2years thats when you either sell for a fair amount or make little or nothing. Milan is turning into Roma of the Massara era unfortunately and Maldini has been learning from Massara unfortunately because he too has little experience. I like Massara as a cool quiet guy but is that what will generate profit for Milan? No.
    Cubs in Italy are selling players for good sums of Money and Milan cannot. We should ask ourselves why? Does Leao not have all the aces in his court today? Just exactly the same way Donnaruma, Kessie and all the rest did? We will be lucky if he signs a renewal.

  5. With limited budget, and the problem is Maldini and Massara not good enough to sell player, so Milan can’t get extra budget to buy some players. Maldini lets Donnarumma,Romagnoli, Hakan, and Kessie without got the money. I think M & M must be learn about transfer player not just to buy player but sell to player too.

  6. “having a budget means respecting it and making the allocated resources bear fruit”
    – Cardinale saying, we gave you the money, you spent it and you got nothing to show for it.

    “The crux of the Maldini-Massara renewal resulted in the granting of decision-making autonomy to the technical area within the budgets set by financial planning”
    – If those 2 had the ability to construct a plan for a year or 2 in the future, as every manager should have, we wouldn’t be every year in a situation where we got one or 2 of our best players on a soon expiring contract.

  7. Well, when you spend 50 mil and u got nothing to show for, some1 will get blamed. 4 talented players left for free, some1 will get blamed.

  8. We read that maldini spotted maignan,
    theo, leao, tomori, kalulu ….. we read that maldini brought dest, vrankx, de ketelaere, adli, thiaw …..

    Sometimes you win …… sometimes you lose ….

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