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The Financial Implications Of Milan’s Emphatic Win Over Cagliari As Pioli Remains Coy Over His Future

Written By Onyeka Daniel

It was smiles all around at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium after AC Milan stormed to a 5-1 win over Cagliari to firmly secure their second position on the table. This result might not wipe off the disappointments of the past few weeks (losing the 6th straight derby to Inter Milan and also getting knocked out of the Europa League by Roma).

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But it does come with plenty financial incentives. Milan took a while to get going, but eventually crushed Cagliari 5-1 including a Christian Pulisic brace, Tijjani Reijnders rocket and Rafael Leao run from midfield. Stefano Pioli dropped Rafael Leao, Theo Hernandez, Fikayo Tomori and Davide Calabria, with Mike Maignan, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Simon Kjaer injured.

The Sardinians were three points clear of the drop zone, with Tommaso Augello and Gianluca Gaetano suspended, Jakub Jankto and Antoine Makoumbou injured.In honour of Mother’s Day, both sets of players wore jerseys with their maternal surnames on the back rather than paternal.


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With this win, the Rossoneri have qualified for the Supercoppa Italiana, while Lecce will avoid relegation, following Frosinone’s 5-0 home defeat to Inter on Friday night.Those two results have mathematically guaranteed that Lecce will not be sucked down into the drop zone, so they are safe for next season in Serie A.

Salernitana are already doomed to the drop and another two places will be decided in the final rounds. Milan also did enough to guarantee they will participate in the 2024-25 edition of the Supercoppa Italiana Final Four. That tournament is now expanded to both the winners of the Scudetto and Coppa Italia, plus the runners-up of those competitions.

Even if Juventus are able to catch Milan in second, the Bianconeri are already qualified for the Supercoppa anyway as they are Coppa Italia Finalists along with Atalanta on May 15. Participation in the Supercoppa Italiana, which is expected to again by held in Saudi Arabia in January 2025, should bring in at least €1.6m for the semi-finalists.

That climbs to €5m for the losing finalist and €8m for the winners. Milan are also eager to secure second place in Serie A to give them a bigger share of the market pool when UEFA divide up the revenue from the new and expanded Champions League in 2024-25.

Meanwhile…

For Pioli, he insisted that he has ‘not met with the club’ to discuss his Milan future yet, but admits criticism and speculation on his replacement is ‘part of the job.’ “It is very important, because we were not accustomed to going this long without a victory. Clearly, after Europa League elimination and defeat in the derby, we had a delicate moment and suffered in that situation,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

“Being able to win tonight and improve our position in the table is important. It wasn’t the greatest performance, but the lads showed sacrifice and focus to get out of this moment.” However, it was only 1-0 at the break amid jeers, changing gear once Rafael Leao and Noah Okafor came on at half-time, though one was forced on Pioli with Samuel Chukwueze injured.

“You journalists, but also players, read everything as personal. It’s not the case. I had to change something, it has been a long and tough season, so some are feeling less sharp than others. An exclusion for one game does not change my opinion on a player and they reacted the way I expected, ready to step up and prove themselves when called upon.”

This victory means that Milan are mathematically guaranteed second place and will play in the 2024-25 edition of the Supercoppa Italiana, which is now expanded to the runners-up of the Scudetto and Coppa Italia trophies as well as the winners.Is It fair to say that the new signings this season were not as disappointing as the old guard? “I do not agree.

“No team managed to maintain the incredible level of performance and results that Inter did. This is a squad that gave its all, but couldn’t maintain the same consistency as Inter and therefore could not stay close enough to keep it open during those decisive moments of the campaign. We also lost confidence, but Inter were a level ahead of everyone, not just us.” Did Pioli ever feel as if he was left isolated or unsupported by the club?

“No, honestly no. I got along very well with Paolo Maldini, Ricky Massara and Zvone Boban, who of course took me to Milan, but also with the current directors like Moncada, Furlani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has changed role. “We are a big club, there are big expectations, so ferocious criticism is to be expected, just as ebullient praise is expected when you win. That is part of the job, you have to accept it all or you do a different profession.

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“I try to help the team to overcome difficult moments and play as well as possible, sometimes it worked, sometimes I got things wrong. ”The most damaging part of the season for Milan fans was the Europa League quarter-final exit to Roma, followed swiftly by handing the Scudetto to rivals Inter.“ The favourite to replace Pioli is Sergio Conceicao, so the Sky Sport Italia presenters joked that was why Rafael Leao was on the bench tonight.

All the players wore their maternal surnames on the jersey this evening in honour of Mother’s Day and so Leao was wearing Conceicao 10. “I didn’t know that was the name! This too is part of the job,” laughed Pioli. “I repeat, I have not met with the club, I don’t know if we’ll do it before the end of the season. We’ll see.” He further added.

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