July 21, 2010
AC Milan ultras are not pleased with their club's lack of action in the transfer market. And since ultras aren't exactly a quiet or passive bunch, they decided to make that displeasure known at the club's first preseason training session on Tuesday with a 3,000-strong protest outside the ground. And their banners were less than friendly toward club owner Silvio Berlusconi. The one pictured above reads: "You don't show up for a year and you do now empty handed, really brave...go home!" I'm sure Berlusconi would be hurt by that if he wasn't already used to opponents of his politics smashing him in the face with miniature duomos.
The ultras also issued a press release that states:
“We perfectly understand the general economic situation and the problems big clubs are having in investing and managing budgets.
“But you can still make big signings without spending ridiculous figures. We will continue our protest against those who no longer show love for our Milan and are completely and exclusively involved in extra-football activities.
“For us, nothing has changed in our stances towards Berlusconi. He continues to be an unjustified absentee.”
Never one to back down from people who hate him, Bersluconi defended his investment.
"I tell those who protest that in seven years we have spent €461million, an average of around €60m per annum," he said. "We have a squad that is competitive enough to challenge the other teams. What teams have players like Ronaldinho, Andrea Pirlo, Pato and Clarence Seedorf in their squad?"
Good question. But teams that have actually won silverware in the last couple of seasons have players who might be better than some of those guys.
Still, I don't think these are the kinds of people who are easily swayed by rattling off a few names and numbers...
Looks like a Travis Bickle convention.
Photo: AP, AFP