Suma urges Milan fans to temper expectations due to ‘swampy football movement’ in Italy

By Oliver Fisher -

Journalist Mauro Suma has urged AC Milan fans to temper their expectations given the current situation that the club are in financially.

Milan’s project has been one centred around controlling costs but also making targeted investments in young and talented players to develop an exciting core for the future, which the acquisitions of players like Kalulu, Tomori, Tonali, Bennacer, Theo Hernandez and Leao stand to prove.

It culminated with the victory of the Scudetto last season but rather than that being an end point it is natural for fans to have bigger expectations, to demand more investment in the squad to aim for bigger targets.

Mauro Suma – a journalist who does work for Milan TV – spoke in a column for MilanNews in which he highlighted the situation that the Rossoneri still find themselves in.

“These winds of slowness on the question of the new stadium are badly experienced. The time has come to tell us one thing clearly. In the last two summer transfer markets, Milan have spent more than 100 million, without making any significant sales,” he began.

“The club does everything it can to keep the team competitive and keep the accounts in check. Because with the now exploded and crazy costs of today’s football, there is the risk of getting seriously hurt. As we see clearly around.

“And so what we have to say clearly is that the time has come to stop harassing football clubs. Besieged by agent commissions, hounded by Financial Fair Play, disappointed by the slowness with which projects for new stadiums are evaluated and immobilised by TV rights that a backward and swampy football movement like ours is unable to fully exploit. Because we export football produced in old stadiums around the world, football that is tired and not cutting-edge.

“Now that Juventus too will have to play sustainable football and that therefore there will no longer be multi-millionaire cicadas in our movement, the time must come when fans stop asking for the money from signings and renewals from clubs that firstly cannot spend it by regulation and secondly which do not generate them from their sources of revenue.

“The moment must come when the political class of the country that does not give tools to the fourth-fifth Italian industrial chain and the institutional bodies of football, not only in Italy, begin to give answers.

“Because beyond the debts they all have (I remember that Milan is rightly considered virtuous, but they still lost 66 million euros, a lot of money, in the last balance sheet), the Italian clubs can no longer fly.

“You can’t live football on two tracks. The fans with their transfer market dreams and the clubs with their penalties for paying year-end taxes. With all due respect to those who, from Mars, accuse clubs that have lost almost 1,000 million euros in recent years of wanting to speculate.”

Tags AC Milan


  1. Suma has hit the nail on the head when he says that Italian football is “immobilised by TV rights that a backward and swampy football movement like ours is unable to fully exploit.” In other words, what he’s saying is that Serie A broadcasting deals can’t match those of the English Premier League, which projects its football to the whole world, especially to lucrative Asian markets. So, what’s the solution to Serie A’s problem? As a lifelong AC Milan fan from its global diaspora. I’m not “harassing” the Rossoneri when I repeatedly declare on this platform that AC Milan and other continental clubs should all leave their respective national leagues and compete in a multi-divisional, merit-based, pan-European League. Such a league, which will have Europe’s top clubs like AC Milan, Juventus, Inter, Real Madrid, PSG, Barcelona, Atletico, Bayern, Ajax, Benfica, and Porto playing against each other at least twice every season, will capture the imagination of fans, advertisers, and investors everywhere and its broadcasting revenues will exceed those of the EPL. A European League is the next major step in the evolution of football on the continent. EPL clubs may be invited to join it if they want to, but their participation isn’t essential. Yes, build new stadiums more quickly in Italy. But the crucial economic game changer for Italian and other continental clubs will be the establishment of a pan-European league. AC Milan’s owners must be at the forefront of efforts to form such a league.

  2. Italian football needs a reset.
    They have to change everything from infrastructure, the way clubs operate, the way they play on the field, the way they train, the way they sell their product…
    You can’t have only a handful of new stadiums built in the last 20, 30 maybe 40 years.
    You can’t have once a decade a major scandal happening involving your clubs.
    You can’t have most teams, even your most successful club, continue playing defensive game. Every sport is changing their rules to make their game more offensive and more attractive, appealing to fans.
    Today’s game is based on athleticism. You gotta change your training methods to catch up. Even the NT that won the Euros. Their 2 best players were Chiesa and Spinazzola (besides Gugio). They are athletic but they were the only ones. Both of them were out because of injuries and Italy missed the WC.
    Serie A was the best league in football for about 20-30 years but they stopped investigating in their infrastructure and especially with the scandals, got to a point where they are tussling with the Ligue 1 for the 4th and 5th spot in european football hierarchy .
    1 club can’t do it on their own and they will also need help from the authorities. They have to make more favorable laws for clubs and investors and speed up the bureaucratic processes. Milan has been trying to get approval to build a stadium for over a decade now and still no resolution in sight

    1. You make important points, but I’m not optimistic that Italian football can be reset. The quickest and best way to eliminate the disparity in broadcasting revenues between the EPL and national leagues in continental Europe is to establish a pan-European league and have AC Milan and other continental clubs compete in it. It’s time for Europe to shed its parochialisms and unite; its national leagues have declined and become financially uncompetitive.

      1. They already tried something like that we the super league and it was shot down.
        Also , with your idea of the Pan-European league, you are basically killing all the national leagues. 2,3 different divisions in every country will be even less interesting and non profitable if the biggest clubs leave those leagues,. Thousands of players, coaches , employees left without a job.
        Unless you are playing your pan-european league midweek, where there is already a pan-european league called the UEFA Champions League

        1. Yep. It really does boil down to new stadiums owned by the clubs to maximize revenue streams. Combine this with a renewed emphasis on developing local talent, along with modern footballing philosophies, and the product on the field will surely improve. Once that happens people will want to watch and the final ingredient will then be able to be added: the maxi tv deal.

          1. I hope all the actions you’ve listed occur. However, I suspect they’ll take years, if not decades, to be implemented. My impression from afar is that Serie A isn’t amenable to a quick fix. The better approach – the one likely in my view to yield major financial benefits and level the playing field with the EPL swiftly – is to have continental marquee brands like AC Milan, Real, PSG, Bayern, et. al play each other regularly in a pan-European league. That’s what will surely earn those clubs lucrative broadcasting revenues. Fans want to see the best compete against the best in Europe regularly.

  3. The pan-European league will be structured just like current national leagues, with, say, 4 divisions, and clubs promoted and demoted from one division to another based on where they end up in the table at the end of each season. That’s different from the Super League concept, in which certain privileged clubs are guaranteed a place in the top division no matter how they perform. As for people losing their jobs – that shouldn’t happen because clubs won’t be made redundant, but rather simply invited to play in a different competition – a pan-European league instead of a national one. I would expect most clubs in national leagues to qualify for a place in one of the 4 divisions of the pan-European league. Clubs that don’t qualify can continue to play in a reduced version of their national leagues. The Champions League isn’t a true pan-European League, because it’s not like national leagues, with teams competing on a weekly basis against each other. Also, don’t forget the problem that we’re trying to fix, which is to eliminate the significant disparity between the broadcasting revenues of the EPL and those of the continental leagues. The Champions League doesn’t solve that fundamental problem so long as the EPL remains in existence. The way to match the EPL is to create a pan-European League that’s modelled on the EPL. Fans around the world will be excited to see the best continental clubs competing against each other regularly. And if the EPL is dissolved and its clubs join the pan-European League, then we’ll have an even stronger European competition. In short, what’s being proposed is that Europe be treated as one country and there be established continentally what there currently is in place nationally. Only then is a level financial playing field between continental clubs and EPL clubs likely to emerge. Serie A, Ligue 1, La Liga, Bundesliga, and other national leagues in Europe can no longer individually compete on equal financial terms with the EPL, but a pan-European League will more than be able to do so. Yes, Serie A was once the world league, attracting the very best players and coaches; however, in the early 2000s it was supplanted by the EPL and, for all the reasons you’ve noted, I’m not confident that it can regain its Numero Uno status again. Italians rested on their laurels and squandered their chance to cement Serie A’s pre-eminent position on the global stage, and the English, with the powerful backing of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, took over. I’m afraid that horse has bolted. It’s time to build a new stable.

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