After the break with Maldini and Massara, the sports area will be reorganized. Pioli and Moncada the key figures and the data will be at the centre. We leave immediately
The revolution is 70 words long. “AC Milan announces that Paolo Maldini concludes his tenure at the Club, with effect from 5 June 2023. We thank him for his contribution over the years, with Milan returning to the Champions League and winning the Scudetto in the 2021/22 season His responsibilities will be assigned to an integrated working group that will work closely with the first team coach, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer.”
Cold? Yes. Not agreed? Quite obvious. Gerry Cardinale went straight for him: on Monday morning he told Paolo Maldini that Milan would continue without him and yesterday the Rossoneri club made everything official on the website. Today the separation from Ricky Massara will come, softer, probably with a termination of the contract. The outgoing ds, in essence, will be free from constraints.
Thus June 6 was the day of the surprise. The world of football has realized that Milan will continue without the head of the technical area. What’s more, it will continue with a completely new style and the last line of the press release makes it clear who the two central figures of the new course will be. Stefano Pioli, known as the American Coach, and Giorgio Furlani, the managing director. “First of all I want to say thanks to Paolo and Ricky and express the gratitude of all the Milan collaborators for their significant contribution to the Club over the years – Furlani told the Gazzetta -. Paolo was among the greatest players ever and as manager , together with Ricky, played an important part in achieving our 19th Scudetto. We are sorry to see them go.” Then the explanation of the decision: “In our club we constantly analyze the most suitable strategies and models to ensure that Milan can continue to progress on and off the pitch, to compete with the leading teams in Europe. The first fundamental element, I repeat Football has always been, and will always remain. With this objective in mind, we have decided on an organizational reorganization that leads to the creation of a working group for the technical/sporting part”. In short, Milan is relaunching, promising a future that is worthy of it: “Our priority now is to consolidate and strengthen the progress made in recent years, in all the components of the club. Our ambition hasn’t changed, on the contrary it has strengthened: to be competitive at the pinnacle of European football. We are on the right track, but there is still a lot of work to do. I hope our wonderful fans can keep their support for the club intact, and I personally hope to be able to interact with our fans soon, so that they can understand our strategy, to continue together to see Milan grow”.
Let’s isolate some expressions. “The most suitable strategies and models”. “A working group”. “Our strategy”. They make it clear that the new Milan changes radically and is restructured on a new set-up. Stefano Pioli acquires importance, both at Milanello – where there will no longer be figures like Maldini and Massara, present every day – and on the transfer market. He will give information on his needs, like any coach, and will have more say in the choice of profiles, the type of player to look for on the transfer market. Geoffrey Moncada, as scout leader, will lead the international search, selecting the most interesting profiles. Giorgio Furlani will manage the economic side, in the decisive phases of the negotiation and for the final approval. This is the structure approved and already at work: yesterday Pioli, Furlani and Moncada spoke to make the first decisions for 2023-24. The first of many market meetings that will lead to the birth of the next Milan.
The model is very un-Italian and has a high risk coefficient. Cardinale did not choose the most logical or even the easiest change – to replace Maldini and Massara with at least one sporting director – but he opened a way for him. He believes in a collegial approach and in the power of data, as demonstrated by the great trust in Luke Bornn (founder of Zelus, the analytics company) and in Billy Beane, Mr. Moneyball, his inspirer and collaborator. It is easy to understand how Maldini was not compatible with this scenario. The challenge for the next few weeks will be to understand how Pioli’s ideas, classic scouting and suggestions from algorithms will coexist. There will be no need to wait: the first decisions will arrive shortly, the first purchases too. Football doesn’t wait and the new Milan wants to learn to walk – to run, if possible – very quickly.
June 7 – 00:10
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