Speculation is rife that Milan will undergo a management overhaul in the coming months, with Ralf Rangnick tipped to take up a pivotal role.
From Silvio Berlusconi to Yonghong Li and now Elliott, the ownership situation at Milan has been anything but stable in recent years.
Importantly, it hasn’t led to a consistent improvement on the pitch either, as we’re still trying to secure a return to the Champions League and struggling to compete at the top level for trophies.
In turn, what happens next is crucial to avoid another cycle of disappointment and frustration, as all the signs are now pointing towards another revolution in our management structure.
As per La Gazzetta dello Sport, Zvonimir Boban’s exit is said to be imminent, while Paolo Maldini and Stefano Pioli could follow at a later date with Rangnick touted as the next Milan coach having been handpicked by CEO Ivan Gazidis.
So the important question is, what does this mean for us?
Concerning to see more change
From the changes in ownership to the likes of Leonardo, Gennaro Gattuso and now potentially Boban and Maldini all leaving, there is the argument of losing our identity by axing so many important figures in the club’s history.
That said, within the management structure it’s about who can do the job in the best way possible, but the constant changes will be doing no one any good while acting as a possible unwanted distraction for Pioli and the players too.
Boban and Maldini came under fire last year as question marks were raised over the work that they had done to that point, but things have certainly improved in recent months to suggest that we could be moving along the right path finally.
Perhaps that is why the timing of all this is particularly disappointing, while GdS note in their report above that the conflict within the current management set-up stems from Gazidis deciding independently on approaching Rangnick and not consulting Boban and Maldini.
As noted by Football Italia, Christian Vieri blasted the former Arsenal chief for his actions and offered his support to Boban in what has become quite the embarrassing mess.
It’s hard to really see what Gazidis has done since he arrived at the club as there have been no tangible results offered in terms of our financial position, while he has come out publicly on several occasions to stress the need to put right the wrongs of previous ownership.
There will come a time, and hopefully not too far into the future, where he needs to show what impact he’s making, but seemingly with the backing of Elliott, there will only be one winner in this touted internal war as Gazidis looks set to get his way.
It will be a huge disappointment to see Boban and Maldini leave if they are replaced, and we will certainly lose something significant if they go.
A revolution that’s ultimately needed at Milan?
It would be remiss of me not to consider the other side of the argument, and having also called for a complete overhaul within the club not so long ago, it’s something that arguably needs attention.
From our last Serie A title in 2011 and finishing second in 2012 before losing countless key figures in that squad, Milan have been lingering in mid-table mediocrity and falling short of even qualifying for the Champions League for too long.
Since the 2013/14 campaign, we’ve finished 8th, 10th, 7th, 6th, 6th, 5th and now we’re still looking up at a significant gap to the top four this year too.
Since Massimiliano Allegri left in 2014, Clarence Seedorf, Filippo Inzaghi, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Vincenzo Montella, Gennaro Gattuso, Marco Giampaolo and Stefano Pioli have all been drafted in, and yet here we are still stuck in the same position after plenty of transfer activity and various coaching influences.
My point on Milan needing a complete overhaul from top to bottom came at a time when there were suggestions that Pep Guardiola could leave Manchester City at the end of last year, as per the Telegraph.
That wasn’t to suggest that we could attract the Spaniard, but the point was that we needed something similar to Man City where he joined a trusted hierarchy of reputable figures he knew well in a streamlined structure as they worked in sync to mould the culture and atmosphere at the Etihad to build a new cycle of success, (not including their recent FFP troubles).
It’s happened at countless clubs around Europe, and it could be argued that as Milan’s malaise continues with no real sure-fire sign of it ending any time soon, a revolution is needed to change our thinking, culture and attitude on and off the pitch.
Whether or not Rangnick is the right man for the job remains to be seen, assuming he is appointed this summer, while question marks remain over Gazidis and Elliott.
Let’s be clear. Their objective remains improving results on the pitch and the club’s financial strength to make Milan a profitable business to increase the club’s value to sell on for a profit. That has always been the case since they took control from Yonghong Li, as it is simply what their business does.
Time will tell if this touted revolution takes us closer to being in that position or not, but after years of disappointment and falling short, perhaps we will have to accept it and see how it plays out as it could be what is needed at Milan.