Herbert Kilpin and Alfred Edwards got more than what they had bargained for in 1899 when they decided to write their names down in history books as the two Englishmen known as the founding fathers of AC Milan.
The lace-maker and businessman’s project went on to become the second most successful football club in Europe with the total of 18 officially recognised international titles and to establish itself as one of the greatest clubs in the world.
Seven-time UEFA Champions League winners have seen better days though, as the recent seasons will not be remembered as the most memorable ones in the 116 years long history of Il Diavolo.
Without silverware on their shelves since 2010-11 season during which AC Milan won their last Scudetto, Rossoneri are getting ready to open a new chapter which fans hope will bring a new dawn to their beloved club.
Old but Gold
He’s been around for more than three decades, but Silvio Berlusconi as an 80-year-old is losing the race against time and strength needed to be the kind of a club owner AC Milan deserve, and most importantly, need.
Silvio Berlusconi pioneered his club into becoming the world’s first superclub, paving the way for the modern-day era which is now most recognisable at the Premier League. Successfully balancing his private life and political career, Silvio Berlusconi’s closed doors hid more than just ‘Bunga Bunga’ parties, but the former Italian Prime Minister used his passion for the game as a steering wheel to success, both on and off the pitch.
Sporting records and honours were followed by successful business endeavours which have seen AC Milan become a subsidiary to Berlusconi’s Fininvest Group, making Rossoneri a recognisable marketing brand and the fifth highest earning football club in the world with an estimated revenue of €234 million in 2005-06 season.
Club’s value declined significantly, however, during recent years taking AC Milan to 12th place at Deloitte’s ranking table in 2013-14. The club reported a loss of €93.5 million last year and Berlusconi finally decided that changes had to be made.
AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi opened talks with Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol last year in effort to sell a majority stake, but negotiations broke down when former Italian Prime Minister decided to change his mind over the portion he initially intended to sell and claiming he would not give up more than 48% of the shares.
Coincidently enough, the club struggled on their own part as the team failed to break Juventus’ domination. Without domestic honours and without a place in the Champions League, another disappointing year was in sight for AC Milan most faithful.
The arrival of Sinisa Mihajlovic and his temperamental character promised to stir things up, but lack of proper transfer investments and lack of patience resulted in Serbian tactician being handed his marching orders by the club’s officials before Mihajlovic was even able to finish the work he started.
Brocchi is now here as an interim solution, but the Italian failed to make his presence known as Rossoneri brace themselves for yet another year without a Champions League visa.
AC Milan are sitting in seventh place at the Serie A standings, one point shy of the competition’s most pleasant surprise Sassuolo and four behind Fiorentina in fifth.
Last round of the season brings a high profile match against AS Roma, who are fighting to finish the season as runners-up. Rossoneri are given the odds of 23/10 to emerge victorious from the derby game on Saturday.
Brocchi’s men will still have a chance to finish the season on a high as they are due to play Juventus in the final of the Coppa Italia, which brings the chance of at least nailing a Europa League slot for the next campaign. Not too much of a consolation prize for Rossoneri, the fans will agree.
Silvio Berlusconi is once again hitting the headlines as he opened exclusive talks on Tuesday with a group of Chinese investors who are interested in buying a majority stake in the club.
Berlusconi’s family holding signed a memorandum with an interested consortium, who valued the club at up to €750 million including debt. The coming weeks will bring the conclusion to an ongoing saga with a view to close the takeover deal before 15 June.
AC Milan are about to embark on a new journey that is sure to have a timely effect at club’s chances of becoming a more attractive proposition to potential summer targets. Increased financial power in the transfer market could see Milan finally make direct moves towards bringing high-profile players to Serie A which hasn’t been the most covered destination for footballers in recent years.
AC Milan’s choices are another subject though, as transfer targets that are being mooted at the moment – Aston Villa left back Jordan Amavi being one of them – are deemed unworthy of the club’s stature, with an obvious exception of their former star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who could be tempted to a possible return to the club he holds dear to his heart.
A new dawn is upon AC Milan however, and I am sure that summer ahead of us will bring plenty of positive changes at Rossoneri.
Do you agree?