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Full Version: Current squad - what work is needed?
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(11-08-2013, 01:52 PM)Graeme_C Wrote: [ -> ]Apparently Barbara also wants a review of all the transfer dealings with Genoa, which is interesting..

I have a feeling if Balotelli doesnt improve on and off the pitch Milan will try offload him in Jan, if that happens Abate will also go just so Milan doesnt have to deal with Raiola.

Sorry forgot to respond to this yesterday, but generally I agree it is interesting and rather worrying that there's such a lack of transparency over the dealings with Genoa. While I never expected the whole club to know or understand the relationship, I thought at least the other directors would know.

If Balotelli doesn't show growth then I agree with selling him quickly (next summer imo). I mean at a human and professional level, if he can't mature fast then if we keep what we've currently got, his value will depreciate quickly and rather than making a profit on his sale, we'll either make a loss on him or we'll have a petulant fool on our hands.

(11-08-2013, 05:43 PM)reza Wrote: [ -> ]Further to one of the points you make Dev, opportunistic signings. Those that come relatively cheap for some reason (Kaka, Ibra and others you also mentioned) are good and fine and giving credit to Galliani for finding opportunistic or shrewd moves is fine too but it should be in the context of the team that is available. Let's say you agree Ibra is the best, he is available cheap for whatever reason, it's fine to snap him up quickly. There is a big but though, it makes a big difference if the other 10 players are Muntari instead of Rui for example. My point is finding star on the cheap coming at the expense of everything is not a solution.

Very true and I think that's exactly what happened with Ibra. We brought huge up front, had Nesta and Thiago in defence and no longer had enough money to invest in midfield. Spending big (in context of our current financial situation) on Ibra and Robinho effectively meant we had a no investment in midfield. Yes, we had Pirlo, Rino, Ambro and Seedorf, but I doubt anyone would disagree (other than the players themselves) that they were well past their best years.

(11-08-2013, 06:36 PM)xudong Wrote: [ -> ]I appreciate what Galliani has done for Milan, but it does now seem that he and Allegri should go. He should get praise for making that kind of opportunistic signings, but should get scolded for only relying on that kind of signings.

That ultimatum seems silly and let's hope that it won't work.

I don't think Silvio would just go against his daughter in support of Galliani. I think he'll try to find some common ground between the two.

Ultimately though, I think it comes down to either Galliani compromises and accepts he's no longer in charge of everything, or he's out. Knowing that there are offers on the table for him (Italian FA and PSG), I think the latter is more likely.
Just to add a few small thoughts of mine to your analysis there, Dev.

1. Not just with Genoa, someone should look into Milan's deals with Inter (Fossati, Mancini, etc.) and even Juventus too (going back about one and half decades, we had some really fishy deals, not just in player transfer).

2. I also agree that Berlusconi would not go against his daughter, definitely not in public, so the fact that it is now out in the sun must mean that Barbara has Silvio's blessing. A family meeting has already been convened, and Galliani should know it clearly. There is hope (just hope though) after all.
Apparently Galliani confirmed that he will be at Milan for life.

I'm fine with that, but hopefully this means that some of the power is taken away from him. I also think that the club should still bring in people like Maldini and Albertini in and give them a big role. Also, Barbara may not be a football freak, but she does seem to have good business ideas. Again, Galliani staying is not a bad thing, but his position as to what he does for the club and how much power he has must be reevaluated.

Galliani probably has so much dirt on the Berlusconi family that Silvio probably can't just get rid of him. Big Grin
(11-09-2013, 04:32 PM)xudong Wrote: [ -> ]Just to add a few small thoughts of mine to your analysis there, Dev.

1. Not just with Genoa, someone should look into Milan's deals with Inter (Fossati, Mancini, etc.) and even Juventus too (going back about one and half decades, we had some really fishy deals, not just in player transfer).

2. I also agree that Berlusconi would not go against his daughter, definitely not in public, so the fact that it is now out in the sun must mean that Barbara has Silvio's blessing. A family meeting has already been convened, and Galliani should know it clearly. There is hope (just hope though) after all.

While we've had some dodgy deals in the past (or creative accounting), I doubt we'd go back too far to investigate. The Genoa deals have been recent and are ongoing (Birsa - Antonini most recently).

Not sure what's going on about the second point. Like you, I just hope.

(11-09-2013, 09:34 PM)nefremo Wrote: [ -> ]Apparently Galliani confirmed that he will be at Milan for life.

I'm fine with that, but hopefully this means that some of the power is taken away from him. I also think that the club should still bring in people like Maldini and Albertini in and give them a big role. Also, Barbara may not be a football freak, but she does seem to have good business ideas. Again, Galliani staying is not a bad thing, but his position as to what he does for the club and how much power he has must be reevaluated.

Galliani probably has so much dirt on the Berlusconi family that Silvio probably can't just get rid of him. Big Grin

I didn't read it like that, not after some thought anyway. If we look into his comments, I think they can be read in many ways. Here's how I read some:

"I'm tied to President Silvio Berlusconi for life. Silvio Berlusconi is the world's number one and this time it showed. We've known since 1979 and he is my president."

For me, this is a clear statement against Barbara Berlusconi. He only acknowledges Silvio, who he named clearly and I think he's saying he'll only take orders from one man. If Barbara comes into power (which she is doing), I don't think Galliani will acknowledge her as his boss.

"...there is no truth in these rumours about PSG or any other club. If I stay in football, then it will only be at Milan. We've been working together for 34 years."

I think two things here. One, he will NOT do the same role in any other club other than Milan. Rumours are he could go to the Italian FA, though I think he kind of rules that out too.

The other thing is acknowledging the key part of this quote, which is "If I stay in football". He's not saying he'll be at Milan in the future, at this point it's a case of he either carries on with Milan or he leaves altogether.

“There will be no official statement on the club website, nor any further comments. I’ll see you all tomorrow in Verona.”

I think this is a massive statement here too. No confirmation on the official site to me means there's no actual resolution yet, as we all know that if everything ended well, then Berlusconi would be the first to show his face to the press as some hero and represent Milan's "family".

I think things have been postponed until April now, when there's a board of directors meeting if I'm correct, with the current focus for now being to try and work together to just get the mess on pitch resolved. I personally suspect this all means that in January we shouldn't expect much activity other than that which is already confirmed. this means Honda and Rami come in and not much else happens. I think this because it's hard to make changes when this issue remains unresolved. I suspect next summer we could end up with a bigger revolution at the club than even the summer before last, when all the senators, Ibra and Silva left.
There's been a few updates since I last wrote about this, all of this news is on Milannews in various articles (often from other sources). Basically, Maldini has been in touch with PSG and they apparently want an answer, but the fact he's stayed quiet until now suggests he is in contact with Milan and could be working at the club as soon as January.

I read that apparently it's either him or Albertini wanted for the technical director role (I think essentially sporting director), though I wouldn't be surprised if we want both. Interestingly, apparently both were seen together at Italy's training session ahead of the Germany friendly. Might be meaningless, though could be potentially a major signal.

We've apparently been interested in one of the Juve directors, but his name eludes me. Marotta has basically responded with respect, saying it's great that a prestigious club like Milan would be interested.

Gazzetta says that there's a position ready for Galliani in Forza Italia (Berlusconi's political team) when he leaves Milan.

As for future coaches, Seedorf is the favourite name in the Berlusconi household right now. However, I've read some concerning comments on him of late. Apparently, he's not keen on the youth project and would want more experienced players. I would hope if he were to come, then he'd remember his breakthrough came in a young Ajax side (that won CL) when he was around 18.

A touch off topic, but as I've generally been discussing the changes within the club here in recent weeks, it's worth a mention. The club's head offices have moved away from Via Turati (where we've been for many decades) to Via Rossi. Most of the managerial staff are already working there (Galliani included) and apparently a room there has been named Via Turati.
Thanks for the update, Dev.
That's alright Xu, it's a topic I'm particularly interested in atm for obvious reasons. It's also worth mentioning Thohir (Inter's new president) is making progress in building a new stadium for Inter. As San Siro is getting the CL final in 2016, now's the time for us to really push for ownership of the stadium and as Galliani and Barbara have said in the past, hopefully we'll be seeing some renovation to modernise facilities in the stadium. My hope is that like Juve we can aim to build a "Milan village". Essentially a place where everything is Milan, from the football to stores, museums, hotels and restaurants. Imagine visiting San Siro and being able to eat at Kaladze's restaurant or go to get clothing at Maldini and Vieri's clothes store. We have major names in our history, many of which we have great relationships with and as part of the "Village", I would love to see us work with them to encourage business.

This all got me wondering how well we are actually doing as a company and if I'm honest, I'm actually concerned we're extremely far behind where we should be as a business and in our growth. For a club as successful as we are and recognised as one of the top football teams, it's concerning how little exposure our brand gets in the world. Personally, I would say given our success at a sporting level and exposure in the global media as a result, we should be competing with the likes of Real and Barca in terms of commerce. However, the reality is these clubs as a brand are on a different planet when compared to us. Just an example is we're trying to develop the brand in America, knowing that Kobe Bryant and Novak Djokovic (two of the biggest sports stars in America and the world) are big Milan fans. Surely there's an opportunity of mutual benefit with them to raise awareness and the profile of our brand in the US with them.

However, it's all bigger than this because in terms of PR and marketing, social media and modern technology are invaluable to any business. Followers on twitter and activity on places like Facebook and Youtube are vital, not only in building revenue streams (via advertisements and links to memorabilia), but also building relationships with the consumer (fans). Just to give a few figures to illustrate my point, Real Madrid on twitter have 9.5 million followers, Barca have 10.6m and we have 1.6m. On Facebook, Real have 44,321,790 likes, Barca have 47,109,392 likes and we have 18,101,133 likes.

On youtube, we have 185,080 subscribers, Real have 986,491 and Barca have 1,139,741. This isn't just we're not as popular, but our activities on these networks are paltry in comparison to these clubs. Barca in the last day or two have packed news on their facebook page with articles about players, training and international teams. Real similarly have articles about similar things, including a tour of Bernabau that Casemiro recently went on. Our Facebook page has one update about the friendly yesterday (with photos), with the previous update on the 12th wishing Abate a happy birthday. On youtube, Barca have had 30 odd videos posted in the last 3-4 days, Real similar numbers in the last week. We've posted 8(!!) videos in the past week, not even a third of what these clubs are doing.

If we look at Twitter, I think Sony Computer Entertainment in their use of twitter in recent years is exemplary in many ways. Shuhei Yoshida (one of the execs of the Playstation dept) is available on twitter @Yosp. On here he not only gives updates etc, but is actively responding to individual questions to fans. For those who followed Sony in the PS3's lifecycle knows they've had a PR nightmare, initially with the PS3 launch (a year after Xbox 360 and extremely expensive) and then again with the hacking of Playstation Network (PSN), which was offline for around a week I think (maybe more). By having important people actively engaging with the general public, Sony have not rebuilt the relationships with fans, but are going into next generation gaming on par with Microsoft, if not as favourites. For Milan, just think how cool it would be to have someone at the club directly communicating with fans regularly. Not only would Milan build relationships with fans (something we've seriously lost in recent years with the mystery behind the direction of the club), but also it would give fans a method to directly ask the club questions, from simple things like buying tickets to actually looking to engage with transfer markets etc.

It's not just about activity either (though this is key as journalists will spread the words from these places), search on google for each club and for us you get information and a link to the official site. Search for FC Barcelona and Real Madrid and the first thing you see are ads for their stores. This isn't fluke, it's because these clubs look to entice sale of merchandise in modern ways. Search in youtube for ac milan and the first thing I got was a link to Maestr021's youtube channel, a fan's channel rather than the official one, again not encouraging me to find official avenues of communication. For me, this is embarassing, as these are things that should be a given in modern business.

It's similar in the way of merchandise. If you go to Amazon and search for books related to Barca or Real, you'll find plenty in just the past year. Do the same for Milan and I came across 1 random looking Polish book. In DVDs and documentaries etc. Liverpool have tons regarding their historical achievements, while I again found 1 for Milan (for our centenary). We have a massive history and so many opportunities of commercial revenue in these streams, why aren't we exploiting them!?

Merchandise leads me to another worry, which is membership. Seriously, a club like Milan should offer membership to fans. If this is available, it's too hard to find and a quick search on google and the official site failed to bring me anything. Seriously, memberships is a given in modern times, as for a fixed fee you generate stable income, encourage fans to be a part of the club and going back to merchandise, can offer benefits, such as discounts and cut prices for tickets etc, enticing fans to spend. Hell, go a step further and have different levels of membership, like a basic membership, which will offer fans discounts on merchandise in MilanStore and newsletters regularly, a standard membership which includes everything of the basic with the addition of discounts on match tickets and facilities in Milan (i.e. tours around San Siro and museums etc) and a high level (gold) membership which come with season tickets. This sort of structure offers better value for money to the consumer and actively gets them involved with the club, encouraging a more stable form of income. Again, Barca and Real offer membership deals and these are extremely easy to find.

I think not only are we behind, but we must be dynamic and forward thinking. For example, we've got a developing youth setup and did a great series of web videos (I think it was shown on MilanChannel too) about the structure of this set up not too long ago. As a parent, I can say one of the biggest concerns a parent will have about kids going into football is the kids not getting an education, as well as the instability of the career. Wouldn't it be great to help the kids (many of which are foreign or of a poor background) in our youth systems get the resources they need to get a full education (organising tuition and offering advice services), nurturing them as footballers, but as people. I know we try to help them mature, but I guarantee we don't have the HR set up at the club to encourage them to really aim high at school. This isn't just something I'd restrict to youth either, as senior players (18 and up maybe?) should have resources to available to them to be able to think ahead to what they'll do after their playing career. We know guys like Maldini, Vieri and Kaladze all have side businesses, but most players who come to Milan are clueless as to what they'll do after playing. Given how stupid some of the players in our current squad are, they need it more than ever. I bet our HR department isn't developed to do this, yet surely offers opportunities we can use, such as grooming coaches and club staff for the future internally, as well as actively working with players to help them succeed in business, which may give us opportunities in the "Village" I mentioned at the start of this post.

I've written a rather large rant about my view on the state of the club here (only touching on a few areas outside of the sporting element), but it's frustrating knowing what we could be doing given our history, success and prestige. However, the more I think about where we are, the more I feel we're stuck in the past. Btw, I'm aware the stuff above isn't going to change overnight, but I think we need to start now and build a 5-10 year project to put a lot of this stuff in place.
Dev you make some good points. I will say you refer to a lot of modern merchandising/advertising especially when you bring up twitter and youtube. When you compare us to Real or Barca you are forgetting that probably 1/2 of videos for each club revolve around Messi and Ronaldo. You are essentially alluding to the commercial aspect Real realized years ago with the Galacticos.

Modern football is no longer as much result driven as it is player driven and goal driven. I think Real is a great example as they have not won a CL in over 10 years (and the last time they were in the final is when the won), they have won like 2 or 3 La Ligas in that time but they are a juggernaut financially. The reason is that their attacking galacticos fit the modern paradigm of marketing very well (which brings in the money). The same goes for Barca with Ronaldinho and now Messi. These players are the Youtube highlights, ESPN highlights, the discussions people have. People don't want to talk about a Serie A 1:0 scoreline that was tactically stunning, they want to talk about the 5-3 match or when Ronaldinho hits a beautiful volley. They want to see that.

Milan, on the other hand, do not have such players or scorelines. Outside of Silva and Ibra we haven't really had any big caliber stars grace us AND we all know that defensive stars like Thiago do not garner the attention outside of the hardcore footballing world where the money is made (I mean most people watch youtube videos of goals not tackles or tweet exciting results not 1-0 score lines). Sure as fans of the sport we know Silva's importance to ANY club in terms of play but financially he doesn't bring money in like a Bale, Messi or Ronaldo.

Now I'm not saying Milan has never had stars like that. We just have to look back to Van Basten, Pirlo, Shevchenko, Kaka, etc to see that Milan was once to a beautiful team. The problem is in the past 8 to 10 years the sport has become more and more international and we haven't had that reach because our lack of spending. As people can now see their footballing idols online that they once only heard about over a decade ago, they are willing to spend more for the teams. I think the commercial aspect is due to timing. We just happened to stop spending much in the recent years when more and more international money began flowing into the game. That is why you see teams really pulling away from us. The timing is also apparent in the Calciopoli eroded the credibility and the fan base of Serie A as well.

Oh my that was a rambling post. Hope it makes sense
At this point in time it is perhaps best to take the opportunity, accept a pause, take a small step back and then look to a longer term future. What I mean by this is *marketing wise* I think it is a futile exercise to be compared with Real, Barca, EPL etc and we should perhaps build from 'Italian' strengths. Milan's social media presence is already superior to Juve's and Inter's for example. We get stadium issues sorted out and I am afraid I think San Siro is too big, a village around it will not fix the stadium itself, we all love Milan and we know there are lots of supporters all around the world but a stadium nearly twice Juve's is not needed and in quite a few ways it is not helping.
I can see here some of you have put some valid points that can help the club. Is it possible for us as a community (Milanmania) to write a letter directed to our mgm with some points derived from our posts. I would really want for Galliani to read this post Dev wrote. I honestly think it will be refreshing if they read a letter from fans outside of Milan and Italy.

Reza what do you think? can we write a letter signed from members here and direct it to Via Turati or the new headquarters. Or maybe just send it by e-mail??

Maybe it may come to def ears but I think we as fans are entitled to out opinion and hopefully will be read.
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