One of AC Milan’s Board members Giorgio Furlani spoke at the Business of Football Summit hosted by the Financial Times. The Elliot Portfolio Manager discussed the situation at the club and provided a view for the future via MilanNews.it:
On Elliot’s Plan: “We started as financiers but after a year Milan and its owner were in financial difficulties, so we had to intervene to stabilise the boat. The club was going bankrupt from a cash point of view, the financial situation was very bad. We received ban from UEFA competitions. There was no leadership or management and the results were also rather bad. This is the situation we found when entering Milan.
“We have developed a plan around two pillars: first sporting results, for me there is no successful football project that does not start from sporting successes. Then we needed discipline from an economic and financial point of view, especially as regards the reduction of costs.
On the management: “We have chosen a fantastic CEO like Ivan Gazidis and with him we have transformed Milan and the road is to go towards a media business like Real Madrid and Manchester United. We have also changed the sporting leadership to do well on the pitch as well. Finally, we pushed for the stadium project, San Siro is a historic stadium but it is not a modern stadium.
In four years of ownership we have done many things, some wrong especially at the beginning, then we have done just as good. We made a big turnaround, considering all the problems that were there we had nevertheless seen enormous potential. Results and accounts are going on the right path, we may still make mistakes but the direction is the correct one.”
On Possible Minority Shareholders: “The short answer is no, we never thought about it. Many have contacted us because they were interested in the club but so far that has never been anything. We have not invested in the club’s equity in the last year and we shouldn’t do it soon, the boat is stabilised. In football, many choices are now chosen from an economic and analytical point of view, this is what we tried to do.”
“For example, it would be stupid from us to hold on our assets at all costs, but we have to be objective and have plan B. And we are happy with our new goalkeeper.”
On the Super League: “Talking about the project is not the right question, the right question concerns the structure of an industry that loses money not only due to bad management but also because the structure is not right.”
On the stadium: “It’s a long project, at the beginning we said ‘Milan is not Rome’ but in reality the situation is similar. There were some delays due to the pandemic.
The project in the hands of the municipality which is analysing the situation with the main stakeholders. It is a very important project, the current stadium is not good enough. We need to have the right infrastructure to sell the best experience to the fans.
What is blocking the situation? There is a limited political will to move forward, there are several stakeholders who do not want to move forward. It is very Italian to love old things.”