Repost from here
With the results of the weekend, Inter losing 2-0 to Parma and, at time of writing, AC Milan losing 2-0 to Palermo, it felt like an appropriate time to write about the Destruction of the San Siro.
The Destruction of the San Siro
Just to think of the fall from grace from both sides in the last few years… The City has an illustrious history – two Champions League wins in the last decade alone. It is in fact the only city that I can think of, off the top of my head, which has two teams with Champions League winners in it. It is also the most prestigious one, with ten wins between the two clubs there.
And nothing saddens me more than how far it has come. A natural question is to ask how it has come to this state. A natural direction to look towards is the article on Massimo Moratti, available here, which also quite applies to Silvio Berlusconi.
The Milan clubs have been, for too long, owned by indulgent owners. Who wanted to spend on players, and didn’t want to invest. In many ways, a parallel with Leeds United can be drawn. Except there, at least, the owners were only spending income, and at both Milan clubs, instead, we are spending personal cash.
Inter and Milan’s destruction has been particularly exaggerated because of the downfall of Serie A at the same time, where a league that once rivalled the Premiership has been left behind with ageing stadia, irrelevant players, and little impact on the global scale of football. For a league that once was the wealthiest in the world, chronic financial mismanagement has really proven its destruction and downfall.
As the biggest spenders in the league, now left behind by shrewd investments by Juventus in the form of a new stadium and clever signings, the Milan clubs are suffering from a classic ‘failing company’ mentality, where costs are cut in a negative feedback cycle which ultimately ends in a deep spiral downwards.
It is interesting, from an academic standpoint, to see how often this mistake is made, but it is definitely safe to say that that is far beyond the scope of this article.
Silvio Berlusconi, Destruction of Milan
The clubs have not been helped, either, by the new found wave of austerity and the financial crisis. But this has undoubtedly caused their destruction in a way more severe than any of their rivals. Systematic reinvestment is required – which is unfortunately a capital requirement that the new owners are likely not going to put up. The Italian league as a whole needs significant strengthening, too, with no clear path for progression or development available yet, and muddled, confused, indecisive leaders present.
As mentioned, however, I think these failings are most emphasised at the Milan clubs, where chronic mistakes and mismanagement have really affected the clubs – but it is not exclusively a failing of the two Milan sides, but rather, one of Italian football in its entirety.
No matter how you cut it, though, watching two clubs with ten Champions Leagues between them, one now made almost exclusively of free signings, the other investing heavily and nonetheless failing to deliver improved performances, Inter and Milan getting beaten by the respective bottom teams of the table at match day twice this weekend is a disaster, in my opinion, of unprecedented proportion.
Sadly, I can’t think of any other teams, let alone cities, that have fallen so far from grace. I sincerely hope that this is only a temporary thing, and indeed somehow that reputation and prestige are more important than form.
Let’s hope that both Milan clubs can return to their former heights.