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Elliott Management cleans house, does this mean a return to financial sanity at Milan?

New Milan chief executive Paolo Scaroni is reportedly meeting with Massimiliano Mirabelli to discuss the Sporting Director’s dismissal after Marco Fassone was dismissed over the weekend

AC Milan v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

AC Milan is going through a transitional period at the club once again after Elliott Management took over the club earlier this month, and the changes are coming fast. Marco Fassone is out as CEO at Milan, and Massimiliano Mirabelli could be next, according to reports. Elliott Management seems to want to wipe the slate clean of the people who were running the club under previous owner Yonghong Li.

It is also being reported that Fassone is thinking of taking Elliott Management to court to dispute for his sacking due to ‘just cause.’ However overseeing spending of over €200 million last summer with poor results, coupled with a financial outlook that resulted in Milan running afoul of UEFA regulators. it would be pretty easy to build a case that Fassone’s time at Milan saw a dark period of financial shenanigans at the club.

Paolo Scaroni took over as chief executive of Milan over the weekend on a temporary basis, after a shareholder’s vote officially ousted Li and the board members that were appointed by him. Scaroni is a member of the new board of directors, and, according to the official statement by the club, a new CEO has already been identified and will be appointed in due course. Scaroni put out a statement that read:

I am humbled by the opportunity to lead AC Milan’s Board of Directors, and grateful for the trust and support of my fellow Board members. This is a critical moment in the club’s storied history, and we’re all grateful to have a new owner committed to return AC Milan to its former glory. At the Board level, we will do everything possible to put the coach and the players in a position to succeed. There is considerable hard work ahead, and we are eager to build upon today’s momentum.

It is worth noting that not only was Mirabelli not mentioned anywhere in the statement put out by the club on Saturday, he also did not travel with the team to the United States.

The unsustainable spending, coupled with some questionable recruitment, made these moves pretty much inevitable. If anyone was going to go down with the ship along with Li, it was always going to be Fassone and Mirabelli. Their time at the club will always be remembered by dodgy financial dealings and under-performance on the pitch.

Elliott’s housecleaning will hopefully bring some sanity to the club’s finances. Elliott’s chairman, Paul Singer, said that the fund intends on bringing Milan back to the elite of European Football in a statement posted to the club’s official website that read:

The election of a new Board marks another step forward in getting AC Milan back on track. Elliott is well positioned to deliver financial stability and proper oversight, the building blocks of on-field success and a world-class fan experience. We recognize the prominent place AC Milan occupies in the football world and are cognizant of the responsibility that comes with owning such a storied franchise.

And while talk may be cheap when it comes to football, Singer’s interest in creating “on-field success” may be more than just cheap platitudes. Elliott will eventually sell the club to another buyer, and a club that is regularly in the Champions League, challenging for titles, is worth more than a club that barely qualifies for the Europa League.

Milan has the history and the name to be one of the biggest, most valuable clubs in the world. Hopefully the new owners will respect that and help take Milan back to the heights of world football.