AC Milan’s 10th place finish in Serie A 2014-15 means that the club has endured its worst campaign since the introduction of the 38 match format in 2004-05 (and its worst season since 1996-97), and has failed to qualify for European competition for the second consecutive year.
Over the past few seasons, AC Milan has lost out on the quality players needed to rebuild a competitive team (losing almost all their core players by 2011-12) due to the management’s unwillingness and inability to make big purchases. Moreover, it is difficult for AC Milan to attract world-class players, who will expect to play European football, when they consistently fail to secure a top 3 or even a top 5 finish in Serie A.
Very few premiere footballers will want to settle for domestic football alone. The ones who do will have to be truly dedicated to the reformation of the team. Thus, Milan has resorted to getting players on the cheap through a combination of free transfers and loans, taking in rebellious and ostracised players, signing players who are well past their prime, or buying players who are simply not good enough to wear the rossoneri shirt.
Historically, the name AC Milan is associated with success. The club is still one of the most titled in international football (Silvio Berlusconi always loves to remind us of this fact). It is also the best ever representative of Italian football in European competitions, winning 7 out of Italy’s 12 European Cup/Champions League titles (more than Juventus and Inter combined). However, the past is in the past. The club has to think about regaining its glory for the future.
On paper, the current team is not abysmal and it can certainly do better than a mid-table finish, but it’s certainly not going to be winning any titles. Hence, one can expect that this summer’s transfer window will be quite active for Milan with a possible change in ownership—as Berlusconi is looking to sell at least a portion of the club—and a mass exodus and influx of players. Don’t go buying the new 2015-16 home kit just yet, next season’s Milan is going to be radically different.
Photo Credit: LaPresse