After getting the green light for their new stadium proposals in March, club president Silvio Burlusconi gave the campaign the chop after stating he’s ”too in love with the San Siro”. Whether this remains a popular decision with fans is another question, however the board have split opinions.
AC Milan revealed plans for a new 48,000 capacity stadium back in March, which consisted of the club hoping to redevelop the Portello area of the city with the construction of the stadium, sports college and several restaurants. Having shared most of their extravagant history at the San Siro with city rivals Inter, the club decided they wanted a new lease of life, only for their vision to deteriorate 6 months later. The campaign was led by Burlusconi’s daughter and lifelong AC Milan fan who stated in several articles in the Italian press that she was adamant the planning and construction of the ground would begin to take shape.
The real question is why cancel the project? Supporters of the club have had a torrid time of late, finishing last season’s Serie A campaign in 10th, so the promise of the new stadium gave the club some renewed life which they haven’t had since the 2012-13 season. In retrospect, a new stadium would have been the only viable option to keep the club’s gigantic status and reputation within Europe as the last couple of years have been some of the worst in recent club history. Attendances dropping below 35,000, not qualifying for European competitions and marquee players leaving have all played a part in the off-field predicaments becoming an even greater issue which have ultimately led fans to start boycotting home games. Without a doubt a new stadium would have given the club more independence, having shared their ground with Inter Milan since the 1940s, which must surely play on the minds of the supporters who think their club is more attached to their rivals than they’d like to be.
By the time the 2018/19 season comes, The Rossoneri’s will be plying their trade in the iconic San Siro Stadium, however i’m afraid the club may look back on this decision, one which could have re-generated the entire club. After all, they’re one of the worlds most successful club’s who are slowly being torn and interpreted into a mediocre force, a problem only the guys upstairs can fix.