Since the announcement that milanese giants AC Milan and Inter have decided to break down the San Siro/Guiseppe Meazza (depending on who you support), all and sundry have had their say on the matter, but in my humble opinion, they need it.
From the fans, the media, Milano’s mayor and even the current Italian Premier, it seems anyone who has an interest in Italian football, have let their voices be heard on La Scala del Calcio. However, the fact remains, whether someone is for or against the legendary arena being re-built or not, what is without a shadow of a doubt, is unless these two clubs act quickly, they will be left even further behind in Calcio circles to rivals Juventus.
There is no time for sentiment in the modern world, so it’s either, you progress and at a timely rate or be left behind.
The main reason that a new arena is so vitally required, is simple because of the fact that the clubs do not own it, as it is currently owned by the council. That means that the proceeds are shared between the two clubs and the council, meaning that Milan and Inter don’t get the full gate receipts from match-days. This severely limits the coffers of both clubs and they are as such handicapped in their spending power, when it comes to improving their playing squads on the transfer market.
Football is a competitive business and not only has both clubs fallen back behind arch-rivals Juventus, but also the rest of Europe’s giants, such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Bayern Munich and the Premier League’s “Big 6.” Since Juve built their own stadium (now know as the Allianz Arena), in 2011, their profits, spending power and reputation has sky-rocketed past their Milanese rivals, such to an extent, it almost seems, that they are in another galaxy.
While, the Turin based club has made gradual strides and can now afford to buy the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo for over 100m Euros in the summer of 2018 and attract some of the very top prospects in the market, both Inter and Milan have had to be frugal with their’s…Recently, both clubs have had to deal with financial problems and have ran into trouble with UEFA Financial Fair Play(FFP).
Inter, fortunately for them have cleared their debts since coming under the Suning Group from China and this summer are now more free to work on transfers. In contrast, Milan, have been thrown somewhat into chaos. Last year they were initially banned form Europe, but after being taken over by American management group Elliot Management, they were able to reverse the decision and compete in the Europa League.
Fast forward a year, and the Rossoneri are in hot water again, as they failed to meet their obligations to Europe’s governing body, forcing them to forego their European place, as a compensation. That means they can now have some more time to balance their books and stabilise the club with a view to competing again at the highest levels in Italy, Europe and in the world.
Maximum profits are paramount and that is where a new stadium fully owned by the clubs comes in…
Exactly a week ago, both clubs confirmed their desire to build a new stadium. il Diavolo President Paolo Scaroni said “We will have a new San Siro next to the old one.”His counterpart from the Nerazzurri, Alessandro Antonello confirmed by simple stating “Yes, absolutely.” The plan reportedly is to knock down the current stadium, build the new one on the site and it is expected to be ready by 2022 at a cost at 700 M Euros.
Italian red tape is well known, and no sooner had both club’s patrons announced their commitment to embark on this grand venture together, had the mayor of the Lombardy city said “The council owns the San Siro,” he told Sky Italia. To throw another spanner in the works so to speak, the city was awarded the hosting rights for the 2026 Winter Olympics, and one of the promises of the Italian Olympic Organisation, was that the San Siro will be used for the event in seven years time.
That is a full four years AFTER the scheduled opening of the new stadium, so we seem to be heading for an impasse between both parties as things stand. Previously, when questioned on the issue, the mayor Beppe Sala said he would have preferred that the clubs re-furbish the stadium, but in my opinion what he really wanted to say was “We don’t want to lose the cash cow that is the San Siro as that will affect our money”.
His statements reeks of “dirty politics” and these types of bureaucracy is a major reason holding back not just the two Milanese clubs, but Italian football on the whole.
I say this drawing reference to other Calcio clubs such as Roma, Napoli, Fiorentina etc. All who have been trying for years now to construct their own football specific fully owned stadiums, only, to be knocked back by their local authorities. It quite saddening that the status quo is being allowed to keep back this great football nation’s clubs to be held back like this.
With a new stadium, both clubs will not only be able to garner all the profits and have more to spend on their team’s, but also have other aspects added on, such as restaurants, hold concerts, and even if they see fit, expand the seating capacity. The benefits are endless to both Milan and Inter owning their own football specific stadium and the sooner this happens the better.
The time for a new stadium befitting these two legendary clubs is now.