‘A.C. Milan deserves a classy home venue’


New AC Milan owner talks about future stadium Image: UEFA

The Serie A team A.C. Milan’s (Italy) new owner Gerry Cardinale spoke to ‘The Financial Times’ as his investment group RedBird Capital Partners have signed a deal to buy the club from the Elliott Management Corporation for 1.2 billion euros. As more details emerge of the deal, the direction of the new owners becomes clearer and the fans want to see results.

A.C. Milan or simply Milan is a professional football club in Milan, Italy, founded in 1899. The club has spent its entire history, with the exception of the 1980-1981 and 1982-1983 seasons, in the top flight of Italian football, known as Serie A since 1929-1930.

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, commonly known as San Siro, is a football stadium in the San Siro district of Milan, Italy, which is the home of A.C. Milan and Inter Milan. It has a seating capacity of 80,018, making it one of the largest stadiums in Europe, and the largest in Italy.

The New York and Dallas (US)-based principal investment firm RedBird Capital Partners deploy capital over time and apply in-house industry expertise to create business platforms that drive terminal value.

New York (US)-based Elliott Management Corporation is an American investment management firm. It is also one of the largest activist funds in the world. It is the management affiliate of American hedge funds Elliott Associates L.P. and Elliott International Limited.

‘The Financial Times’ further quoted Cardinale as stating, “It was very important to me that I did that (win over Paolo Maldini, Technical Director of A.C. Milan, [who used to play primarily as a left back and center back for the team] and convince him of the project). We ended up spending three and a half hours together . . . it was fantastic.”

Talking about the change in the deal structure, he stated, “This enabled us to move on a dime, get a deal done, and enable them to continue to participate in a way that they like to participate.”

Commenting on the stadium, he said, “A brand of this scale, like A.C. Milan, should have infrastructure that is indicative of its football prowess and global potential. We’ve had a lot of experience with stadium projects in the United States. Milan and Italy deserve a world-class stadium that houses the best of sports and entertainment on a global scale.”

On Serie A, Cardinale maintained, “There’s a huge opportunity at the macro level with Serie A. There should not be this kind of revenue differential on the media side between Serie A and the English Premier League (the top level of the English football league system).”

The Serie A, also called Serie A TIM for national sponsorship reasons, is a professional league competition for football clubs located at the top of the Italian football league system and the winner is awarded the Scudetto and the Coppa Campioni d’Italia.

‘Future success’

‘The Hindu’ quoted A.C. Milan Technical Director Paolo Maldini as stating that the club’s proposed move, with San Siro co-tenants Inter Milan, from the 95-year-old stadium was needed to ensure future success for both the Serie A clubs.

Inter Milan is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy (Italy). It plays in Serie A, the top of the Italian football league system. The San Siro Stadium serves as its residence.

The RedBird Capital Partners agreed a €1.2 billion ($1.26 billion) deal to buy A.C. Milan earlier this month.

‘The Hindu’ further quoted Maldini as stating in December 2021 that the club’s proposed move, with San Siro co-tenants Inter Milan, from the 95-year-old stadium was needed to ensure future success for both clubs.

New 60,000-seater stadium

Italy’s heritage authority gave the green light to a proposal to tear down both the top-flights 1920s-era San Siro Stadium in 2020, after the teams filed a request to jointly build a new 60,000-seater stadium.

Italy’s football infrastructure as a whole is in need of renovations and some Italian stadiums have not been updated since the 1990 World Cup, the last major soccer tournament hosted by Italy alone.

A.C. Milan clinched their 19th Serie A title on the final day of the season in May – their first Scudetto in 11 years.

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