After the internal war within the Milan management hierarchy resulted in Zvonimir Boban departing, there is still uncertainty surrounding the direction in which we’ll go.
As noted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, it’s suggested that the former CFO could take his case to court over the manner of his dismissal following an interview with the newspaper, in which he hit out at the ownership and specifically CEO Ivan Gazidis for going behind his back with his recruitment plans.
Currently, Stefano Pioli remains coach while Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara are still in their respective roles, albeit the latter duo were absent from the stands during the defeat to Genoa at the weekend.
To add to the uncertainty, there are now conflicting reports on whether or not Ralf Rangnick will indeed take up a role at Milan next season, with Sky Sport Germany suggesting that while there was perhaps an agreement in principle, he probably won’t accept the offer currently on the table.
It’s added that the agreement was for him to become both sporting director and coach, but the report above casts real doubt over whether or not he’ll take up the job and play a fundamental role in the long-term plans of Gazidis and Elliott.
In contrast, La Gazzetta dello Sport continue to suggest that a change could be made this summer, and in the interests of the club, perhaps it would be better to go through with a fresh revolution rather than try to piece things together moving forward.
Would a complete overhaul be the answer?
Boban arrived last summer and formed part of a new-look management team following the exit of Leonardo, with Maldini taking up a bigger role.
It was the sporting area of the hierarchy that initially chose Marco Giampaolo to be their coach after Gennaro Gattuso’s departure, and they then subsequently identified Pioli as the right man to step in following our bitterly disappointing start to the campaign.
In turn, this structure and team still has Boban and Maldini’s print on it, and so unless the plan is to stick with the latter and Massara along with Pioli, the ownership arguably need to build on their decision to remove Boban and put their preferred management system in place from top to bottom.
That will rule out any further in-fighting if Maldini or Massara believe that they’re being undermined in any way or have their roles reduced, while Elliott, and particularly Gazidis, will have nothing left to hide behind as this would be their strategy and personnel.
As noted by the official Bundesliga site, Rangnick has drawn a huge amount of praise and recognition for the work he’s done within the Red Bull organisation, with his philosophy, principles and style of play all being lauded.
It seems a risk to hand so much power to one individual and rest all your hopes on his shoulders, but if the rumours are true, then Gazidis and Elliott are seemingly convinced that the 61-year-old is the right man for the job.
As noted by Pianeta Milan, club president Paolo Scaroni defended Elliott this week and suggested that difficult choices and decisions could be made.
There is a sense of frustration over the focus always being on what was done initially after taking over ownership, while there has arguably been a lack of tangible evidence to suggest that the necessary progress is being made off the pitch to make Milan more competitive on it.
Perhaps it takes time and patience given the scale of the issues at hand, while building a competitive and long-term squad coupled with the new stadium and other commercial pursuits will not be overnight achievements.
Nevertheless, with Gazidis seemingly growing in influence and calling the shots under Elliott, as fans we perhaps need to be prepared to accept their plans for a fresh revolution and simply wait it out to see if the touted reshuffle has the desired effect of changing the course we’ve been on for the last few years.
Perhaps it will take a complete change in culture, vision and approach to get us back to the top. While it’s disappointing to see further lack of stability and club legends moving on, we’re still staring at another failure to qualify for the Champions League this season.
Gazidis has proven to be rather unpopular thus far. However, he’s won the initial battle with Boban, and now he could be set to win the war this summer too with the backing of Elliott to bring in Rangnick, which in turn continues to raise serious question marks over where Maldini, Massara and Pioli all fit into this particular picture.
So Boban lost his job over it, now Sky Sport Germany suggesting Rangnick may not even accept offer.
What a mess.
What do you want to see happen now? #ForzaMilan
— Milan Talk (@MilanTalk1) March 11, 2020