A lightning-fast decision, coldly and belatedly communicated. Gerry Cardinale, RedBird's owner, sacked Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara yesterday.
In the week in which another Milan club, Inter, will face the Champions League final, after winning two trophies this season, Milan was sacked. Yes, because Maldini was and will continue to be Milan.
The ownership challenged the now former manager on the past transfer campaign, the methodology and, last but not least, too many words off the pitch.
The last summer market window was not exciting, none of the signings, except Thiaw, performed as expected. The results on the field, however, have been positive, albeit with a lower payroll than Juventus and Inter, AC Milan qualified for the Champions League and played in the semi-finals of the elite European competition. With Maldini, the Rossoneri returned to play in the Champions League every year and went back to winning a Scudetto, even with a limited budget.
Paolo Maldini was also fundamental and essential in negotiating the renewals of Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao. Without him, for example, Leao's renewal might have been blown up.
Maldini is the figure, the man on the pitch, who spent his day between Casa Milan and (most importantly) at Milanello: where he was Milan's 'father' figure. Every problem, on and off the pitch, was resolved through him.
Nobody expected his dismissal: the team and the staff, including the coach, were shocked. From Theo Hernandez to Rafael Leao passing through Sandro Tonali: many players who had chosen Milan for Maldini were shocked.
It will not be easy now to restart, especially after losing another important figure like Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The communication, which therefore only arrived yesterday, June 5, will certainly have negative repercussions on the whole team, who will go on holiday knowing they can no longer rely on a certainty: that of the 'father' Paolo Maldini.
It is not difficult to speculate on Maldini's future: Paolo, by choice, will not work for any other team.
He will wait, as always, for another call, the same one: that of his Milan team.
Thank you once again for being, and for continuing to be Milan.