The time has come to no longer question if Milan can compete for the Champion's League but instead to ponder the true question. Can Milan still be considered a Club Football World Super Power!? I remember it like it was yesterday, 1990 was the most magical year of Milan fandom. I was young, impressionable and most importantly all in on AC Milan. Berlusconi was on top of the World and he had rescued an already storied Club for the doldrums of Serie B a few years earlier to the top of the World. Fast forward to 2014...
Football's nouveau riche is no longer built on a foundation of history and accomplishment, history can only get you so far. Today's footballing elite is built on piles and piles of money, it matters little what you accomplished or where you came from. If you go up for sale and people with cash want to buy you, you can go from mid-table to top of the World in one summer. If you are lucky enough UEFA even turns a blind eye to Financial Fair Play and you can keep spending money that you don't have, Barcelona and Real Madrid, and keep top level status. Now it is important to note that not every nouveau riche Club is a success. Clubs like Leeds are still paying the price for fool hardy spending and recently team's like Malaga, Fulham and Tottenham have proved that money can't buy success. On the flip side, Manchester City and PSG have won something, but the big Trophies still allude them. In short, you can buy a League Title, but the CL needs a bit of know how.
AC Milan has that CL know-how, and while Juventus was winning Scudetti and UEFA Cups Milan was always onto bigger better Trophies. The problem; however, that plagues AC Milan is that the money is gone and the know how is following right along after it. You can arguably retain your Big Club status if you keep some money and know-how and show people that you know how to use it, but thanks to the two clowns above Milan is not demonstrating either at this point in time. With that we must question if Milan is now a second tier Club to the nouveau riche and those who have maintained their historical status.
Bayern, Juventus, Manchester United come from old money and the history and heritage is preserved, as is their successful business model. Ajax, much like Milan, has shown that poor choices in the late nineties have come to back to bite them in the present. Milan is much closer to that track and should learn a valuable lesson. PSG can also be argued in the same boat, a team who needed fresh investment to return to the top echelon of football, will Milan end up the same?? This season will go a long way to defining what the future holds for AC Milan but at this point in time there is no reason to believe they can maintain there status as Top Club.