09 October 2019

GAZIDIS: "A TOUGH DECISION BUT ONE MADE TOGETHER"

The words of the Rossoneri directors during Stefano Pioli's presentation

Alongside Coach PioliPaolo MaldiniZvonimir BobanIvan Gazidis and Frederic Massara also spoke in today's press conference. Here are the words from our directors on the change of coach and the current situation at the Rossoneri Club:

IVAN GAZIDIS
"First, I would like to thank Marco Giampaolo and his staff sincerely for their efforts. He is a good man and a good coach. It’s not a decision taken lightly, a decision we all made together, putting our club above everything. I understand and share the frustration of our fans.  Milan has suffered in recent years, and they fear the club’s difficulties will never end. We’re on a journey, and it's not an easy path. We are finally facing realities which it would be more pleasant to ignore, but which can’t be ignored if we care about the club. We inherited a club that we had to save from insolvency, to avoid a certain relegation to 'Serie D', like other Italian clubs like Parma, Napoli, Fiorentina unfortunately suffered in the recent past."

"We are working with professionalism, heart and soul, every day, to get Milan back on a positive path. We inherited massive financial breaches which led to our exclusion from European competitions, and debts which we had to clear. I don’t say lightly that the path is difficult: it is difficult, it will take some time and I do not pretend that we won’t make mistakes along the way.  We will, but I want to assure our fans that we are absolutely determined in our goal to take the club back into a position where it is a modern and forward-looking football club, capable of competing at the top level in Europe again. We will make mistakes, but we will correct those mistakes honestly and continue on our path. You can see the scope of this ambition in ownership’s willingness to invest in a 1.2 bn Euros for a brand new stadium and a structured regeneration project. Our ownership has its central aim to provide the literal foundation to increase the club’s ability to invest in players and compete again the world as a leading global club."

"Zvonimir Boban, Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara are here with me today making this announcement. They also know this path is difficult, but I have wanted good people here, who know football, know what it means to fight to be the best, and who love this club. We will find our way, and all the decisions we make, we make together. We have a squad that finished in last season minutes outside of our first goal, the participation in the Uefa Champions League. It was Milan’s best finish in the past six years, and we know that is not enough for this club.  We have improved the squad with further investments in this summer (we are the sixth biggest net spenders in world football) and our fans will see those new players’ qualities in the weeks and months ahead.  Despite a poor start, we currently sit four points from the UCL positions, and we have decided to make this decision now because we intend to fight for this goal.  There is a long way to go and time to turn the ship. With that in mind, we have been decisive and brought a capable experienced coach who we believe can improve our performance and develop our young players.  I am then happy to welcome Stefano Pioli to the club."

ZVONIMIR BOBAN
"It doesn’t bring us any pleasure to have to announce a change of coach so soon, it’s a defeat for us all. We believe that it is the correct decision for the club, just as we thought it was the correct decision in the summer. We welcome Stefano, who inherits a complicated state of affairs, together we can get out this current predicament, we have chosen him because we are all convinced that he can succeed. The squad has more to offer than what we have seen in the first games of the season and we believe that Stefano has the characteristics to get great results. We too are responsible for this situation, but there is no need lose heart, we are still only at the beginning of the season, we believe that we can do important things for AC Milan. Our team is not the strongest in the world, but it's also not the one we have seen so far. Us choosing Pioli reinforces our conviction that we are able to have better games and show greater quality than that which we have watched so far. The fans have every right to express their dissent but I’m not disappointed by them, rather I hope that very soon they will give me the gift of showing me the same emotions that the players have shown me. As far as my statements are concerned, they are often supported by normal and constructive sentiments. Us former players, who are now executives, we do not lose the competitiveness which we had on the pitch and we undertake our work with the greatest desire to win. We know that there is a need for progressive improvement, it is normal that it will take more a longer period of time because you can’t do everything immediately."

PAOLO MALDINI
"I’d like to thank Marco Giampaolo for his professionality: it’s a shame to have taken another path, because the decision to appoint him this summer was well-considered, shared and the right choice from the beginning. However, we realised that it wasn’t working and although it’s a difficult decision to take it makes us understand that we want to be at the top this season, and not suffer due to negative results in the first games. We can’t afford to take such a risk and throw away the whole season. Stefano arrives as an experienced coach who has often done well by coming in midway through the league. I defended Marco after the defeat to Fiorentina because at that time it was right to do so, I defended him right up until we decided to make the change: we still have 31 games left and we’re convinced that we can improve. With almost an entire season ahead of us we can turn things around. Zvone and I are happy because we know we’ve made some considered choices in line with this year’s demands and possibilities. Our presence can be a guarantee for everyone who forms a part of our past and history, we don’t want to wait ten years to become competitive and we’re fighting and confronting a lot of issues right now. We’ve both been taking responsibility since we were 16 years old, this is just a new moment in our lives and we’re living it in peace."

FREDERIC MASSARA
"Marco Giampaolo gave his all in this adventure. We all asked ourselves what it was that didn’t work, we looked beyond the inconsistent results, and we felt that there was room for improvement, something which can be achieved by Coach Pioli. We believe that this team has a potential that Stefano can bring to life."

 

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